12 Geography Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

Tarawa, Kiribati, South Pacific.
An aerial view of Tarawa, in the South Pacific. Photo: Michael Runkel/Getty Images

The world is a mind-boggling place.

With so many places to visit and things to discover, it's no wonder that the world always has a way to surprise you just with simple, scientific facts.

Turns out, our little, blue planet is actually more like a big, thick encyclopedia of knowledge just waiting to be discovered.

Here are some incredible, geographic facts about this planet we call Earth.

1. Continents shift at about the same rate as your fingernails grow.

2. Mt. Thor on Baffin Island, Canada, has Earth’s greatest sheer vertical drop (4,101 feet).

You can take one step off the peak and fall nearly a mile before you hit anything.

3. Ninety percent of Earth's population lives in the Northern Hemisphere.

4. California has more people than all of Canada.

Canada: 35.85 million. California: 39.14 million. (According to data from 2015.)

5. Australia is wider than the moon.

6. In the Philippines, there’s an island that’s within a lake, on an island that’s within a lake, on an island.

You might need to read that a second time.

7. The Dead Sea is currently 429 meters below sea level and sinking about 1 meter a year.

8. At certain times of the year you could walk from the United States to Russia because of two islands known as Big (Russian) and Little (U.S.) Diomede.

Russia and the United States, at their closest points, are about 2.4 miles apart.

9. Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, can fit inside the Marianas Trench, the deepest part of the ocean.

10. Russia spans 11 time zones.

At one end of Russia it could be 7 in the morning and at the other it's 6 in the evening.

11. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world.

12. Africa is the only continent that covers four hemispheres.

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