Our planet has always provided us with everything we need for survival. Many adventurers have traveled to the harshest, coldest and the hottest places on Earth, but about 7.1% of territorial earth and over 43.4% of the aquatic Earth still remains undiscovered. Our planet is filled with many wonderful geographical and geological anomalies and mysteries, far from what we can imagine. Nature still has some of the secrets tucked away, and one day we will unlock all of it. With the rise in technology, we are discovering more and more mysteries about our beautiful planet. Here, we have compiled a list of 20 such geographical anomalies that you might find interesting.
1.The Yellowstone National Park has a massive magma-filled chamber underneath.
Researchers from the University of Utah recently discovered a magma-filled chamber under Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The discovery could mean that, the park’s supervolcano could have larger eruptions. While uncovering the magma reservoir, researchers came across hot, sponge-like rock, as well as some molten rock. They published their findings which revealed that the chamber holds enough magma to fill the Grand Canyon over 11 times, which is 4.4 times larger than the estimated depth in earlier studies.
“For the first time, we have imaged the continuous volcanic plumbing system under Yellowstone. That includes the upper crustal magma chamber we have seen previously, plus a lower crustal magma reservoir that has never been imaged before and that connects the upper chamber to the Yellowstone hotspot plume below.” – Hsin-Hua Huang
2. There’s no land at the North Pole.
The first thing that comes to our mind when we hear about ‘North Pole‘ is ‘Santa’. It is the northernmost point on the Earth, lying diametrically opposite the South Pole and only has ice on top of sea. The Arctic Ocean has about 12 million sq km (4.6 million sq mi) of floating ice and has the coldest winter temperature of -34 degrees centigrade.
3. 75% of fresh water that human life depends on is stored in glaciers.
10% of Earth is covered in glacial ice, that is about 15 million square kilometers (5.8 million square miles). During the ice age, it is believed that glaciers covered about 32 percent of the total land area. The United States has about 75,000 square kilometers (30,000 square miles) of glaciers with most of them in Alaska. Presently, 10% of Earth holds the 75% of fresh water, required for life to exist on this planet. If all the glaciers in the world melt at the same time, scientists calculate that the sea level could rise an astounding 70 meters.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Russia’s Lake Baikal is so large, it is often mistaken for sea. It is the deepest and oldest lake in the world, and the largest freshwater lake by volume. About 20% of the world’s fresh water is located in lake Baikal. It is home to more than 2,000 species of plants and animals, but the rise in pollution and urbanization is forcing a great deal of threat to this serene lake.
4. The Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam is so massive that it has its own independent weather system.
Known as the cave of the mountain river or Hang Sơn Đoòng, it is the world’s largest cave with the largest known cave passage cross-section. The cave is so massive that, it supports the life inside it by providing vegetation, and a weather system. This massive cave in Vietnam even has a fast flowing river inside of it. The cave was discovered by a local man named Hồ Khanh in 1991.
5. Diomede Islands, which is only 2.4 miles away from each other has a 21 hour time difference.
The Diomede Islands are two mesa-like islands (Big Diomede and the Little Diomede), that are separated by a 21 hour time difference. The Big Diomede or the Tomorrow Island is ahead of the Little Diomede and is administered by the Russian Government. The Little Diomede, also known as the Yesterday Isle, is administered by the American Government. Though the islands are only 2.4 miles apart, which is the closest distance between the U.S. and Russia, the international dateline separates them and puts them in two different time zones. Due to locally defined time zones, Big Diomede is only 21 hours ahead and not 23, which is usually a common misconception.