Another unexpected scale - dirt vs water

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Larger version at Gizmodo
 We think of Earth being the water planet, and at its surface it is. However, it is but a very thin sheen of water that blankets the surface. Above is a visualization of the all of the water of Earth gathered into a globe and compared to the size of what remains. 

As the Gizmodo article Truly Awesome Picture Perfectly Shows How Little Water There Is On Earth explains:
This picture shows the size of a sphere that would contain all of Earth's water in comparison to the size of the Earth. The blue sphere sitting on the United States, reaching from about Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kansas, has a diameter of about 860 miles (about 1,385 kilometers) , with a volume of about 332,500,000 cubic miles (1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers). The sphere includes all the water in the oceans, seas, ice caps, lakes and rivers as well as groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your tomato plant.

Makes me thirsty just looking at it. Via Linkiest's, May 14, 2012 items.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, very mind-blowing picture.

But - and this is a big but - if you were to spread that water evenly around a globe with the same diameter as that of the earth, we would be covered by a water sheet to a depth of some 4000 meters.

Live is surface phenomenon on earth - all live on earth is confined to a vertical range going from some 100 meters below the earth's surface up to a height of some thousand meters above earth's surface.

In this context the live on earth is adapted to a extremely watery environment.

For every person on earth there's a cube of water with a side length of about 600 meters.

Oh, and water has thanks to evaporation the sun-aided ability to purify itself.
So don't shed salty water (tears) for salty water. It survived worth than mankind.

So just comparing globes is misleading but perfectly suited to give people a guilty feeling.

best regards,
Georg Huber

ambisinistral said...

Yes, the thing about scales like this is that the size of the Earth is so enormous that we're lost to begin with. We can grasp it on an intellectual level, but at a visceral level its beyond the reach of our senses.