Planet Earth in 8K Ultra HD
Despite its name, Earth may be the only planet in our solar system that has oceans. It is the fifth-largest planet in the solar system and perhaps the only one that harbors life.
The Earth's seas and oceans, which cover 70% of its surface, are home to a large amount of life. With an average depth of 4 km, they account for 97% of the water on the planet. In addition, they feature some impressive landforms: the most extensive mountain range, the Mid-Oceanic Ridge, is deep under the sea. Four times as long as the Andes, the Rocky Mountains, and the Himalayas arranged in a row, it stretches 65,000 km across the Arctic and the Atlantic.
A study carried out jointly by the Universities of Münster, Cambridge, and the Zurich Technique showed that the age of the planet is between 4,400 million and 4,510 million years. So far, five mass extinctions have been recorded on the planet. The first occurred 440 million years ago and the last 65 million years ago. Michael Rampino, an Earth science expert at New York University, argues that it takes about 30 million years for the Solar System to cross the plane of the Milky Way. The presence of the system could be one of the reasons why comets' orbits are destabilized, launching them towards the planet. To this, he adds a possibility that is little studied today: dark matter.
8.7 million species, a single planet. The ecosystems that we depend on, as humans, to survive are made up of around 8.7 million plant and animal species. At least this is confirmed by a study by the University of Hawaii (United States) carried out in 2011, which is said to be the most accurate to date. Of these, we only know 1.3 million. Unfortunately, WWF warns with its Living Planet report that, since the 70s of the last century, only the world population of vertebrates has been reduced by 60% due to global warming, the destruction of ecosystems, and the crisis of biodiversity caused by human action. It is in our power to care for and protect (and even discover) all those species that make our planet an (almost) inexhaustible source of life.