1. Mt. Everest isn’t the biggest mountain.
What? Of course it is. Well, maybe. Under the official definition of mountain, Mt. Everest is the biggest, but what if you measure from the base of the protrusion to the top? In that case: the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea is 10,314m from bottom to top. Quite something. Only 4,205m of the mountain are above sea level, but it has telescopes on top of it, so I think it wins hands down.
2. Earth has at least five natural moons.
I may have lied a little bit just before. Earth really does only have one natural moon, but there are more which have some epic cool orbits which make them seem like our moons. One of these is Cruithne, a 5km in diameter chunk of rock which has a very peculiar orbit. Seen in the gif above Cruithne is the odd yellow orbit path. But don’t worry; Cruithne doesn’t physically cross our orbit, so we’re safe from it. The same story goes for the other space rocks which seem like our natural satellites, even though they really orbit the sun.
3. Earth is smoother than a billiard ball.
Again. Kind of? You may have heard this before and been like, “What? No. Not a chance. Look at all those damn hills and stuff?” But, hey! Maths can help us prove this point. According to the World Pool-Billiard Association a pool ball can have a tolerance of +/- 0.005 inches, and if the ball is 2.25 inches in diameter we can work out the ratio through 0.005/2.25=0.002. Now, if we bring this up to the scale of Earth we can do the following, 12,735km in diameter times the ratio of 0.00222, which gives us around 28km of tolerance. And hey, what do you know? Mt. Everest is 8.85km tall and Marianas Trench around 11km deep. Within the parameters! Time to play some cosmic cue sports?
4. Jumping through Earth is like orbiting it.
What exactly does that mean, you ask? Well, if you were to dig a hole through Earth (assuming this were even possible), and you were to evacuate the hole and line it with a very magic material, then you could effectively ‘orbit’ Earth by jumping through it. The same maths that drives orbits would also drive your descent and ascent from this hole. A trip from one side to the other would take 42 minutes and you would pass the centre of Earth at 7.7km/s. Also, if one were able to orbit Earth at its surface, the orbital period would be exactly the same as your transverse time. Strange, huh?
5. Earth is getting bigger!
Hey, cool! We’ll have more room to live and grow plants and build car parks, right? Not quite, sadly. As Earth speeds through space it passes through a lot of dust which is just chillin’ (quite literally). Over the course of a day we can accumulate around 20-40 tons on average. That’s not quite as much as you think when compared to the total mass of Earth, but over the course of a year it amounts to enough cosmic dust and rock to fill a six-story office building.