The biggest canyons in the world are
under water. Beneath the Bering Sea off Alaska there are seven giant
canyons: Bering Canyon, 240 miles long; Navarin Canyon, 60 miles wide;
Zhemchung Canyon, 9000 feet deep. In comparison, the Grand Canyon in
Arizona is only 10 miles wide, one mile deep and 250 miles long.
Sahara, one of the world’s largest and driest deserts with sand up to
thirty feet deep was once a land with flowing rivers, humid swamps and
lush fields. Cave painting, 9,000 years old, found in the heart of the
Sahara, show men herding cattle and hunting lions and hippos. About
2,000 years ago the cave painters, herders and animals left because the
area that was rapidly becoming the desert we know today.
from a wild flower, the Artic Lupine, found in Alaska, have grown in
the lab after being frozen in the ground for 10,000 years.
bristle-cone pine, which grows in the deserts of Nevada and California,
is the oldest living species in the United States. Some are believed to
be 4600 years old and can live to be 5500 years old.
waves of over 100 feet tall can suddenly appear at sea when there is no
storm to cause them. They are actually accidental meetings of several
waves that can combine to form one huge one that can easily sink a
scientist drilled through the ice of Antarctica’s Lake Vanda, they
discovered that the water at the bottom of the lake was an amazingly
warm 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Ice crystals actually heat the water by
focusing on the bottom of the lake.
6,288-foot summit of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington has some of the
worst weather in the world. The strongest wind measured was 231 miles
per hour. The official low is 47 below zero Fahrenheit, but the cold
often combines with the wind to produce wind-chills of 150 degrees
below zero. The ground is permanently frozen in a layer from 20 to 100
feet below the surface. Since 1851, over 100 people have died of falls
or exposure on the mountain.
below the surface of the ocean a ridge of volcanoes stretch around the
globe. Vents in the ridge spew mineral rich water at temperatures of
700 degrees Fahrenheit or more. In the hot waters, bacteria live
feeding on the minerals. Tubeworms grow to six feet long and foot long
clams grow 500 times faster than their relatives living near the
February 20, 1943 in a cornfield near the village of Paricutin, Mexico,
the ground cracked open and began to spew red-hot rocks. A volcano was
born. It grew to 35 feet the first day. By 1952, it had soared to 1,352
feet and had buried two towns.
two-mile thick dome of glacial ice covers most of Greenland. The weight
of the ice is so great that if it suddenly melted the bedrock of the
island would rise 2500 feet!
is a 39, 000 square mile island that is built of lava from volcanoes.
Major eruptions occur every 6 or 7 years. Almost 1/3 of the world’s
lava output since 1500 has poured out onto Iceland.
are giant waterfalls under the ocean! The largest is between Greenland
and Iceland. This submarine waterfall drops 11,500 feet – three times
the height of any land waterfall.
loudest sound in history was recorded in July 1883 when a volcano on
the tiny Indian Ocean island of Krakatau erupted. The explosion was
heard 3,000 miles away in Madagascar. Ash clouds shot 25 miles into the
sky. The eruption also created giant tsunami, sea waves, that reached
heights of 175 feet, speeding across the ocean at 400 miles an hour and
destroyed over 300 towns.
Ball lightning can sometimes float through a glass window without breaking it; other times the glass is smashed to pieces!
you ever heard the expression, "knock your socks off"? If you are
struck by lightning, your socks and shoes may be knocked off. Rapid
evaporation and expansion of sweat on your skin blows your clothes off.
You may not be hurt if the current does not enter your body.
place with the most number of rainy days per year is Mount Wai‘ale’ale
on Kauai, Hawaii – up to 350 days. The longest time that a place
remained without rain was Arica, Chile – from October, 1903 to January,
1918 – 14 years!