Geography is an engaging and relatable field of science for many students as it focuses on the study of a home we all share – planet Earth! Geography is devoted to the study of the lands, features, and peoples of our vast planet. Here are 6 fascinating geography facts your kids will love!
1. There are massive variations in population density around the globe. Just by looking at a map, it would be nearly impossible to tell where most of the people live! For example – even though Canada has roughly 25 times more land area than California, they both have roughly the same number of people (around 35 million population).
2. Mt. Everest is famous for being the tallest mountain on Earth above sea level, but it’s not the most dangerous. The second-tallest, K2, is a far more treacherous climb with steeper slopes. Whereas over 6,000 people have scaled to the top of Mt. Everest, only 377 brave mountaineers have ever reached the summit of K2. In fact, K2 is so dangerous that 25% of people who attempt the summit never return – so this is one mountain you probably don’t want to climb!
3. The real tallest mountain on Earth is mostly underwater. You may notice that geographers always say “above sea level” when referring to peaks like Mt. Everest. This is because our ocean is a very, very deep place – complete with its own set of mountain ranges! Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii, is actually taller than Mt. Everest by sheer height. However, nearly two-thirds of Mauna Kea is submerged beneath the waves!
4. The ocean truly is Earth’s final frontier. On land, humans have surveyed Earth from top to bottom – but the ocean’s depths are a much different story. The ocean covers nearly three-quarters of our planet’s surface, but more than 80% of it remains unexplored. In fact, the National Ocean Service estimates that less than 10% of the global ocean is mapped using modern sonar technology. Exploring the depths is a difficult pursuit, and humans will likely be planning new expeditions for generations to come. Check out our blog on teaching children how to protect the oceans!
5. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. Situated in the heart of Rome, Italy, Vatican City is not actually a city! With a population of under 1,000 people and a land size of only a fraction of New York’s Central Park, Vatican City is Earth’s smallest country.
6. Alaska is considered both the most “western” and the most “eastern” state in America. This is a very cool fact that is best illustrated by looking at a globe that showcases the Earth’s curvature! Alaska stems off the west coast of Canada, but Alaska’s Aleutian Island chain passes over the 180th meridian, the global dividing line between east and west longitudes. As a result, Alaska is technically both the easternmost and westernmost spot in America!