Saturday, November 18, 2017

Geographical Facts Everyone should know as a part of General Knowledge

Physical Geographical Facts

Geographical facts are derived from common general knowledge on planets, satellites, moon, eclipses, atmosphere, continents, oceans, rocks, etc. We will cover these elements of physical geography in brief here. In next post, we will cover an exclusive section on geographical facts of India. To explore more general knowledge resources click here.


The revolving bodies around the Sun are called planets. There are eight known planets. [caption id="attachment_418" align="aligncenter" width="2020"] Diameter of planets | Image Source [/caption] 1. Mercury Closest to the Sun and is the fastest planet to revolve around the Sun 2. Venus Brightest planet after the Sun and the Moon and is the hottest planet in all 3. Earth is only known planet to possess life 4. Mars Known as the red planet. Explored for life astronomers now, as it is having similarities with Earth. 5. Jupiter The largest planet of the solar system. 6. Saturn System of rings are the characteristics feature of this planet 7. Uranus 8. Neptune 9. Pluto – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgraded the status of Pluto to that of a dwarf planet because it did not meet the three criteria the IAU uses to define a full-sized planet. Essentially Pluto meets all the criteria except one i.e. it has not cleared its neighboring region of other objects.”


These are essential bodies that move around the Sun. Two famous comets known, are as follow [caption id="attachment_419" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Halley's Comet | Image Source [/caption] 1. Halley’s Comet: Discovered by British astronomer Edmond Halley, takes 76.1 years to encircle the Sun. It was last seen on February 9, 1986. 2. Smith-Tuttle Comet: It’s huge comet heading on a collision course with Earth on August 17, 2116.


These are the bodies which revolve around the planets. Mercury and Venus have no satellite. Earth has only one satellite (natural), i.e. Moon. Jupiter has the maximum number (63) of satellites. [caption id="attachment_420" align="aligncenter" width="1765"] Moon | Click Here For Interesting Facts [/caption] Moon: The first planet of our solar system visited by man. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin were the first to set foot on the Moon, and between them, Neil Armstrong is the first person to have set foot on the Moon.


Its shape is oblate spheroid called Geoid, like a ball which is flattened at the poles. Interesting Facts about Earth: 1. Mean distance from the Sun: 1,49,407,000 Km. 2. Time taken by Earth to revolve around the Sun: 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45.51 seconds. 3. Time taken by Earth for rotating on its own axis: 23 hours 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds. 4. Earth is covered 70% by water and 30% by land.

Movements of Earth

1. Revolution: The earth revolves around the Sun in an elliptical orbit. One complete revolution is called a year and this revolution of Earth causes the change of seasons. 2. Rotation: Earth rotates on its own imaginary axis, also simultaneously revolving around the Sun. It moves from west to east. This causes day and night. 3. Duration of days and night is equal at the equator.


Solar Eclipse

It occurs when the Moon comes between the Sun and the Earth, and this causes hindrance in Sun’s light when reviewed from the Earth. [caption id="attachment_424" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] A view of lunar eclipse from space[/caption]

Lunar Eclipse

When the Earth comes between the Moon and the Sun, the shadow cast by the Earth on the Moon causes the lunar eclipse.


The Earth is surrounded by a gaseous cover called the atmosphere. There are many gasses in the atmosphere like Oxygen, Nitrogen, Caron Dioxide, Helium, Argon, Xenon, etc. The maximum percentage of gas present in the atmosphere is Nitrogen and that comprises 77%. The atmosphere is divided mainly into four layers.

  1. Troposphere: It is the nearest layer to the Earth’s surface and is up to 15 km of height from the Earth’s surface. 2. Stratosphere: From the end of 15 km of the troposphere, the stratosphere is present till 50 km of the atmosphere. 3. Mesosphere: It lies between 50 km and 80 km above the surface of the Earth. 4. Ionosphere: It lies above the mesosphere and extends from 80 km to 400 km above the Earth’s surface. Radio communication takes place because of this layer.

Ozone Layer

The ozone layer is situated in the stratosphere belt of earth’s atmosphere. The basic Ozone gas structure consists of three oxygen atoms. Ozone gas is present in the stratosphere in the form of a layer, which extends from 12 km to 30 km above the earth’s surface. The main function of Ozone is that it protects mankind from harmful radiations which come from the outer space i.e. ultraviolet radiations (UV-radiations) from the Sun. Nowadays this ozone layer is getting depleted which can cause skin cancer and damage vegetation. The main reason behind the depletion of Ozone layer also called Ozone Hole is pollution and pollutants present in the atmosphere like Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s also known as Freons), which comes from refrigerated systems, aerosols, air conditioners and solvents. To minimize the Ozone layer depletion the governments of many countries are now replacing the CFC’s with simple hydrocarbons.


The surface of the Earth is made up of big land masses which are divided into seven continents. The seven continents of the world are as follows: 1. Asia – The largest continent (covers approximately 30% of the world land and hosts 59 percent of the world population. 2. Africa – The largest desert Sahara is there. 3. North America 4. South America 5. Antarctica – covered with ice 6. Europe 7. Oceania (Australia) – The smallest continent and the only continent with capital i.e., Canberra Antarctica and Oceania are islands continents.


There are five oceans on the Earth (1) Pacific Ocean (2) Atlantic Ocean (3) India Ocean (4) Arctic Ocean (5) Antarctic Ocean Pacific being the largest occupies 35.25% of the Earth’s surface. The South China Sea has the maximum area among all the seas of the world.


These form the crust of the Earth. Basically, rocks are mineral material. They are classified into three broad categories. 1. Igneous rocks – It constitutes 90% of the Earth’s crust. 2. Metamorphic rocks – Original igneous or sedimentary rocks when subject to change due to pressure or temperature, and metamorphose into metamorphic rocks, i.e. slate, marble, etc. 3. Sedimentary rocks - As the name suggests, these rocks are formed from the sedimentary deposits on the ocean beds, i.e. gypsum, limestone, etc.

Important Mountain Ranges and Mountain peaks of the World

(i) Mountain Ranges
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(ii) Mountain Peaks
[table id=9 /] Interesting Fact: Everest is the highest mountain peak of the world, situated in Nepal and extended to Tibet and K2 is India's highest mountain peak, but it is situated in POK. Therefore, Kanchenjunga is the highest peak within India.

Important Water Sources of the World

(i) natural Lakes
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(ii) Shipping Canals
  1. Panama Canal: It links the pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. It is located in Central America and is 58 km long.
  2. Suez Canal: It links the red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. It is in Egypt and is 169 km long.
  3. Kiel Canal: It lies between Baltic Sea and the North Sea ports. It is in Germany and is 98 km long.
Note: Angel Waterfall which is in Venezuela, is the highest waterfall in the world having a height of 979 meters.
(iii) Important Rivers of the world
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New names of certain cities and countries

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Important world cities on river banks

[table id=13 /] Hope you enjoyed reading this section. You can also read more General Knowledge resources and about the history of India here.


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