True or False: The Earth is the second-closest planet to the sun.
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False! Earth is 3rd-closest (we’re sometimes referred to as “the 3rd rock from the sun”). In order from closest to the sun to the farthest, the planets are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Where was the coldest-ever temperature on Earth recorded?
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The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth’s surface was 136 degrees Fahrenheit in El Azizia, Libya in 1922. The coldest temperature ever recorded was in Antarctica’s Vostok Station at a bone-chilling minus 128 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is the name for the process by which plants use sunlight to get their energy?
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The Oxford Dictionary defines photosynthesis as, “the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water.”
About how old is the Earth?
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4.5 billion years ago, Earth was formed by vast quantities of particles (some as small as grains of sand) and larger masses (asteroids) smashing into each other as they orbited the Sun.
True or False: There was no water on the Earth’s surface when it first formed.
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According to one planetary scientist, Simone Marchi, it took an awfully long time for our planet to become a nice place for living. "Conditions on early Earth may have been hellish," Marchi once told, referring to the total lack of water and the presence of radioactive material. It was only later on that our home world developed the massive oceans which now cover up to 71% of its surface, and help to sustain life.
Scientists are fascinated by Yellowstone National Park—and worried about it. That’s because Yellowstone is…
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Yellowstone National Park is actually a huge volcano or what some scientists refer to as a supervolcano. Its most recent eruption came long before humans lived. It hurled ash all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. A supervolcano is a volcano capable of producing a volcanic eruption with an ejecta mass greater than 1015 kg. These eruptions can cause global sudden climate change which can threaten the existence of life on Earth.
True or False: There are more grains of sand on Earth than there are stars in the sky.
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False! Earth has about seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains of sand. Still, the known universe contains 70 thousand million, million, million stars in the observable universe, which means there are about 10,000 stars out there for every grain of sand on our home world.
What is the deepest point on Earth?
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The Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench is the deepest known point in Earth's oceans. In 2010 the United States Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping measured the depth of the Challenger Deep at 10,994 meters (36,070 feet) below sea level with an estimated vertical accuracy of ± 40 meters. If Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth, were placed at this location it would be covered by over one mile of water.
The name “Earth” comes from the Old English word “eorthe”, the Old Germanic word “erda”. What do they mean?
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The name “Earth” comes from Old English and Old High Germanic words (eorthe and erda, respectively) for “ground” or “soil.” Earth is the only planet that is not named after a Greco-Roman deity.
What is the leading theory for how the Moon came to be formed?
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The leading theory is called the Planetary Impact Hypothesis, and it posits that a large Mars-size body slammed into the Earth while it was still young, blasting an almost unthinkable amount of material out into space. Material which would, later on, come together and form our Moon.
What causes a lightning strike?
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Ever get shocked by a door handle? Lightning strikes are caused by the same static build-up of charge-- but on a global scale. Lightning strikes Earth over 8.6 million times per day. Each bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity.
Roughly how fast do Earth’s tectonic plates move?
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Earth’s crust is made of many plates-- like surfboards floating on a sea of magma (called the mantle). The convection currents in the mantle force the plates to move. The plates move just a few inches a year—about as fast as a person’s fingernails grow. Based on the current movement of the plates, in 250 million years, a new supercontinent will be born.
The tallest known tree on Earth is in which U.S. state?
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The tallest known tree on Earth is a redwood tree in a California forest. Nicknamed “Hyperion,” it is about twice as tall as the statue of liberty, at 380 feet high. Also in California is General Sherman, the world'd largest tree by volume. With a height 275 ft, a diameter of 25 ft, an estimated volume of 52,513 cu ft, and an estimated age of 2,300–2,700 years, it is among the tallest, widest, and longest-lived of all trees on the planet.
True or False: The Earth’s rotation is slowing down.
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The Earth's rotation is slowing down. The deceleration isn't exactly instantaneous, though. Our planetary rotation is only happening about 17 milliseconds slower every 100 years. But it does have an impact. Our days are getting slightly longer. In just a few short years (140 million, to be exact) each will be last about 25 hours.
What is the best place on Earth to find meteorites?
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Because Antarctica has little vegetation and a snowy landscape, it is one of the best places on Earth to find meteorites. More meteorites have been found in Antarctica than anywhere else in the world.
What is “The Greenhouse Effect”?
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The greenhouse effect occurs when Carbon Dioxide builds up in the atmosphere, creating an extra layer of insulation for our planet, and causing Earth’s temperature to rise.
What is the longest mountain-range on Earth?
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Earth’s longest mountain range is actually underwater. The creative and inspiring name it's been given by scientists is the mid-ocean ridge system (so cool!) and it stretches over 80,000 km all around the world. It is almost 20 times longer than the longest range on the surface, which is the Andes Mountains. The entire ridge is volcanic as this ridge marks the boundaries of massive oceanic plates.
Which of these scientists did NOT help to prove that the Sun is the centre our solar system, and that the universe is not centred around the Earth?
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Albert Einstein did many amazing things, but by the time he came around, researchers like Kepler, Galileo, and Copernicus had already done a ton of work to help us understand Earth’s position in the universe.
What is the most common element in the air we breathe?
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The air we breathe is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other gasses.
True or False: The Earth’s mantle (that’s the gooey bit near the center) is roughly the same temperature as the sun.
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It’s true! Which is too bad, because there’s thought to be enough gold in the Earth’s core to cover the entire surface in about 1.5 feet of the metal. Doesn’t look like we’ll ever get a chance to mine it…
Some Earthlings manage to survive in incredibly hostile environments, like the bottom of the ocean, or inside of an active volcano. What do scientists call these resilient organisms?
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Earth is host to all kinds of weird creatures. Some of the strangest earthlings are “extremophiles,” creatures who live in environments that thrive in unexpected, inhospitable environments. Astrobiologists think these creatures might help us imagine what life on other planets might look like. If you’ve seen a photo of a tardigrade, a micro-animal that is often considered an extremophile, you’d probably agree.
The Earth isn’t a true sphere. What is the technical term for it’s true shape?
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Technically, Earth is an oblate spheroid, not a sphere. Imagine a ball that you squished on the top and bottom, causing the middle portion to bulge. This is due to the centrifugal force of Earth rotation. The forces created from Earth spinning causes it to bulge at the equator. The same reason why liquid will fly out of a bowl if you mix it too quickly.
True or False: Earth’s sea-levels are going down.
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False! Sea levels have risen about 7 inches in the in the last 100 years, which is more than the previous 2000 years combined. The rising sea levels due to global warming could threaten the lives of people living along the coastal areas.
What is the longest river on Earth?
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The Amazon River is not only the longest river in the world, 4345 miles, but it also carries the more water than the next 7 largest rivers combined. The Nile is a close second in terms of length, at 4258 miles.

Your Results

Confirmed Earthling

You’ve clearly been studying your trivia. Do you read textbooks in your time off? Sure, a few of those questions got past you… but that’s because we made this as hard as humanly possible. And you still did pretty dang well. Good on you.

Planetary Wizard

Have you found some way to make a living off this knowledge you have? I mean your expertise is shocking. You must win every game of Trivial Pursuit you’ve ever played. Who could have such deep knowledge and understanding of the most obscure details of this planet? Very impressive… well done.

Happy With Your Test Score? This video can help you do better on any quiz... even if you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the topic.


Few of us spend much time thinking about how lucky we are to have this planet. As we humans begin to explore the outer reaches of our galaxy, it’s becoming more and more clear just how rare planets like Earth are. Just the right amount of oxygen. Just the right amount of water. Just the perfect distance from the sun… It all adds up to a pretty swell place to be. But how much do you know about this planet of ours? Time to test your knowledge of your homeworld, Earthling. Good luck...

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