Facts About Weather and Nature

You may have heard someone say, “It’s raining cats and dogs.” There have been actual documented cases from all over the world of fish, frogs, dead birds, snakes, snails, beetles, worms and jellyfish raining down from the sky in great numbers, but no reports of showers of cats or dogs.

Almost two-thirds of the earths surface is covered by water. If the earth were flat, water would cover everything in a layer two miles deep!

During a solar eclipse, the shadows of leaves make the same crescent shape of the eclipsing sun. The image is made by light passing through tiny holes in the leaves.

Tired of the cold weather? Take a vacation on the hottest planet in the solar system – Venus. At over 800 degrees, it is hotter than Mercury because the clouds and abundant carbon dioxide hold in most of the heat received from the sun.

Geologists have discovered there seems to be more water miles deep between the rocks of Earths mantle than in all the oceans of the world. The intense pressure of the tons of rocks above keeps the hot water from turning to steam and escaping.

Water is the only substance on earth that is lighter as a solid than a liquid.

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.

The Sahara, one of the worlds 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.

Seeds 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.

The 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.

Monster 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 freighter.

When 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.

The 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.

8,200 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. Tube worms grow to six feet long and foot long clams grow 500 times faster than their relatives living near the surface.

On 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.

A 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!

Iceland 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 worlds lava output since 1500 has poured out onto Iceland.

There 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.

The 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!

Have 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.

The 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!

The more salt you put on ice, the more the ice melts.

The hottest continent on earth is Africa, where a record high of 136.4 degrees F was once recorded.

Antarctica is the coldest continent on earth, where a temperature of 126.9 degrees F below zero was once recorded.

It gets as cold as minus 160 degrees F. ten miles above the ground on earth!

Raindrops aren’t really shaped like drops; they are perfectly round!

Antarctica gets less precipitation than any other continent on earth.

The Atacama Desert in Chile is the driest place on earth, where it has an average of three-hundredths of an inch of rain per year.

The greatest snowfall recorded in a day was 75.8 inches at Silver Lake, Colorado on April 14-15, 1921. I wonder how long schools were closed?
Submitted by: Todd

Hold on to your hat! The fastest wind speed ever recorded was 231 miles per hour on Mount Washington, New Hampshire on April 12, 1934.
Submitted by: Todd

The hottest place on earth is in Dallol, Ethiopia, which is a sizzling 94 degrees in the shade on a typical day!

A lightning bolt is 4 times hotter than the sun.
Submitted by: B

Once in England, because of a water spout, it rained frogs!
Submitted by: Taylor’s

Roy Sullivan, A U.S. park ranger, was struck by lightning seven times during his life and lived to tell about each of those strikes!

Lightning strikes 1,000 times per second on the planet earth.

Windmills always turn counter-clockwise, unless they’re in Ireland.

Cows sometimes sit down in a field when they know it’s going to rain. (that way, they are saving a dry spot to sit for themselves).

How long can you tread water? The greatest rainfall recorded in a day was 73.62 inches at Reunion in the Indian Ocean on March 15, 1952.
Submitted by: Todd

One inch of rain is equal to 10 inches of snow.

The number of bacteria in a quart of soil from your backyard garden is 30 times greater than the population of the world.

Steamboat Geyser, located in Yellowstone National Park, is the most powerful geyser in the world, and can shoot super-hot water 300 feet in the air.

Every year, plants make and store ten times the amount of energy that people use.

Glass is made of sand.

Did you know that the Empire State Building once got stuck by lightning 9 times in 20 minutes.
Submitted by: Kathryn

In the tropical rainforest it gets about 80 to 400 inches of rain yearly. If it is raining really hard, it gets about 2 inches of rain per hour.
Submitted by: Emily

One tree can provide enough oxygen for 2 people to live off of for their whole lives.
Submitted by: Michelle

The lowest place in  North America is Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level.
Submitted by: Tina