Which Are the Most Widely Practiced Religions In the World and How Many Christians Are there In the World?

The top three religions in the world are Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. Together, about half the world’s people follow the beliefs and teachings of these religions. Islam is the fastest growing of the three. Christianity has the most followers, nearly 2 billion, and they live mainly in North America, South America, and Europe. About half … Read more

What Is the Richest Country In the World and Which Country Has the Highest Gross National Product?

The United States is the world’s richest country, followed by Japan. Economists measure a country’s wealth by looking at the total value of the goods and services it produces each year. They call this the GNP, which stands for gross national product. In 2000, the United States had the world’s highest GNP by far, nearly … Read more

Which Country Is the Worst Air Polluter In the World and How Much Carbon Dioxide Does the U.S. Produce?

The United States is the worst air polluter in the world, responsible for one-fourth of all carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions result from burning fossil fuels, such as gasoline, oil, natural gas, and coal. China is the world’s second worst air polluter, accounting for 12 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, followed by Russia, Japan, … Read more

Which Country Consumes the Most Electricity In the World and How Much Electricity Does the U.S. Generate?

The United States tops the list of countries that consumes the most electricity in the world. It generates and consumes about one-fourth of all the electricity worldwide. China is second, consuming about one-tenth of the world’s electricity, followed by Russia, Japan, Germany, India, and Canada, in that order. In 2009, global electricity consumption was cut … Read more

Why Is Global Warming Considered To Be a Bad Thing and How Does Global Warming Affect Food Production?

One of the biggest concerns about global warming is that higher temperatures could affect food production in many parts of the world. Many crops need certain temperature ranges to grow properly. Food shortages and famine could result. Also, if warmer temperatures cause polar ice to melt, sea levels could rise and lead to flooding in … Read more

What Does the Term “Population Explosion” Mean and How Fast Is the World Population Expected To Grow?

In the twentieth century, the world’s population grew at an amazing rate. In 1960, there were 3 billion people on Earth. Just 40 years later, the number of people more than doubled, to 6.1 billion. In the 12 years between 1987 and 1999, the earth gained 1 billion people. Population experts predict that the population … Read more

Which Parts of the World Are Growing the Fastest In Population and Why Are Growth Rates Higher In Asia?

Almost all of the world’s rapid population growth, about 99 percent, is happening in poor, less developed countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Many sociologists speculate that this population growth is due to a lack of education and practice in birth control methods in these regions. About 4.9 billion of the world’s 6.1 billion … Read more

Which Parts of the World Are Growing More Slowly In Population and Why Is Population Growth Shrinking?

Many countries in Europe, including Italy, Germany, and Russia, are actually losing population because women there are having fewer children than ever before. Japan is also shrinking in population. The United States would be growing more slowly if it weren’t for immigration, people moving there from other countries. This is also true for Australia, New … Read more

Which Countries In the World Are Growing the Fastest In Population?

Just six countries account for all the world’s annual population growth of about 77 million people each year: India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, in that order. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, and has the world’s largest population of Muslims. The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region … Read more

What Are the Largest Cities In the World In Population and How Many People Lived In the Biggest Cities?

What Are the Largest Cities In the World In Population and How Many People Lived In the Largest Metropolitan Areas? The list below gives the populations of the largest metropolitan areas, including the central city and its surrounding areas, in 2000. Tokyo, Japan 33.1 million New York City, United States 21.1 million Seoul-Inchon, South Korea … Read more

What Were the Largest Cities In the World In Population 1,000 Years Ago and How Many People Lived In Japan?

The world in the year 1000 was much smaller and quite different from the world today. The list below shows the world’s biggest cities, and their estimated populations, at that time: Cordova, Spain 450,000 Kaifeng, China 400,000 Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey 300,000 Angkor, Cambodia 200,000 Kyoto, Japan 175,000 Cairo, Egypt 135,000 Baghdad, Iraq 125,000 Nishapur (Neyshabur) … Read more

How Much of the World’s Forests Have Disappeared and How Much Forest On Earth Is Destroyed Every Day?

More than half the forests that covered the earth 8,000 years ago are gone today. They’ve disappeared mostly because of human activities. For many hundreds of years, people have used wood for fuel and for building material. Millions of trees were also cut down and cleared away to create farmland. Some scientists estimate that the … Read more

Why Are the Seasons Different In the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and Why Is It Warmer In the Summer?

Seasons differ in the northern and southern hemispheres because the earth is not upright on its axis in relation to the sun. Instead, the earth is tilted at about 23.5° from the vertical position relative to the sun. The earth revolves around the sun over the course of a year. When the earth’s Southern Hemisphere … Read more

Where Is the Largest Freshwater Lake In the World and How Many Species of Fish Are There In Lake Superior?

Lake Superior, the biggest of the Great Lakes on the U.S. Canadian border, is the largest freshwater lake in the world, and covers 31,700 square miles (82,100 sq km). It is the third-largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and is approximately the size of South Carolina. Lake Superior empties into Lake Huron via … Read more

How Many Countries Are There In the World Today and How Many Countries Are Members of the United Nations?

The number of countries in the world today depends on how the word “country” is defined. According to the U.S. State Department, there are 192 independent countries, if Taiwan is included. The problem is that China claims that Taiwan is a Chinese province, whereas Taiwan insists that it is an independent country. The United Nations … Read more

Which Country Has the Longest Coastline In the World and How Long Is Canada’s Coastline?

Canada’s coastline is the longest in the world, at 151,485 miles (243,792 km). That number includes the coastlines of the country’s 52,455 islands. Canada is the world’s second largest country by total area, and it’s border with the United States to the south and northwest is the longest in the world. The name Canada comes … Read more

Which Countries Are Located On the Equator and Where Is the Highest Point On the Equator?

Starting in Africa and going east, the countries that are located at the equator are Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Indonesia, Kiribati, Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil. Locations at the Equator experience the quickest rates of sunrise and sunset in the world and they also have a constant … Read more

How Far Do a Country’s Boundaries Extend and How Far Up Into the Atmosphere Does the Air Space Extend?

Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities such as governments, sovereign states, and other subnational entities. A country’s borders continue beneath the surface all the way to the earth’s core. Above the ground, boundaries extend 100 miles (161 km) into the atmosphere. That means that airlines must get permission to enter the air space of … Read more

Which Countries Have the Most Neighbors On Their Borders and How Many Neighbors Do China and Russia Have?

China and Russia border the most other countries, mainly because they both cover such large land areas. Each country has 14 neighboring countries. Russia’s borders touch Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, North Korea, Norway, Poland, and Ukraine. China is bordered by Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, … Read more

How Many People Live In the World Today and When Will the Population of Humans On Earth Reach 10 Billion?

The current population of humans on the planet Earth in 2010 is currently estimated to be 6,865,500,000. In 2009, the United Nations predicted that the population on earth would reach 7,000,000,000 in 2011. The only time in recorded history that the population did not grow was during the Black Death around the year 1400. It … Read more

Where Did the Deadliest Earthquake In the World Occur and Why Did So Many People Die In the Earthquake?

A terrible earthquake struck central China in 1556, killing about 830,000 people. Most died because they were living in caves made of soft rock, called Loess caves, which collapsed during the quake. More than 97 counties in the provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Gansu, Hebei, Shandong, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu and Anhui were affected by the … Read more

What Was the Most Powerful Earthquake Ever Recorded In History and What Was the Second Biggest Earthquake?

A 1960 earthquake in southern Chile, along the coast of South America, had a magnitude of 9.5, and was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded. The earthquake caused a tsunami, or huge wave, which destroyed several fishing villages on Chile’s coastline and then raced across the Pacific Ocean. It struck Hilo, Hawaii, 14 hours later … Read more

How Many Earthquakes Occur In the World Each Year and Where Do Most Earthquakes Occur On Earth?

Geologists estimate that about 500,000 earthquakes occur each year in the world. Of these, about 100,000 are strong enough to be felt by people, and about 100 earthquakes cause damage. Minor earthquakes occur nearly constantly around the world in places like California and Alaska in the U.S., as well as in the Middle East and … Read more

How Many Volcanoes On Earth Erupt Every Year and How Many Volcanoes In the United States Have Erupted?

About 60 volcanoes in the world erupt somewhere on land every year. Many others erupt on the ocean floor. About 50 volcanoes have been recorded as erupting in the United States, mainly in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, since people started keeping track of such things. That makes the United States third in the world … Read more

What Was the Biggest Volcanic Eruption In the World and How Many People Died When Mount Tambora Erupted?

Mount Tambora’s 1815 eruption was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, and the deadliest in the world. The Tambora volcano in Indonesia killed about 90,000 people in 1815. Most of the victims died of starvation and disease after the eruption. Crops and livestock were destroyed and the water became contaminated, leading to disease. 1816 … Read more

Where Is the Largest Mountain Range In the World and What Is the Longest Mountain Range In the World?

The largest mountain range in the world lies under the oceans. It’s called the Mid-Ocean Ridge, and it runs for nearly 40,000 miles (64,374 km) from the Arctic to the Atlantic Oceans, around the continents of Africa, Asia, and Australia, then under the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of North America. Its tallest peak … Read more

How Many People Have Died From Volcanoes In the Past 500 Years and How Do Volcanoes Affect Life On Earth?

At least 300,000 people worldwide have died as result of volcanic activity since 1500, and many more lost their homes. Scientists estimate that volcanoes pose a risk to about 500 million people today. It has been suggested that volcanic activity contributed to the Permian-Triassic and Late Devonian mass extinctions, among others. One of the largest … Read more

What Is the Tallest Mountain In the World and What Is the Second Tallest Mountain In the World?

Mount Everest, on the border of Nepal and Tibet in the Himalayan mountains, is tallest mountain in the world at 29,035 feet (8,850 m) above sea level. It was named after Sir George Everest, a British mountain climber. The local name for Mount Everest is Chomolungma, meaning “Goddess Mother of the World.” If measured from … Read more

Where Is the Biggest Saltwater Lake In the World and How Was the Caspian Sea Formed?

The Caspian Sea, which is a saltwater lake that borders Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran, covers 143,244 square miles (371,000 sq km), and is the biggest saltwater lake in the world. The Caspian Sea is a remnant of the ancient Paratethys Sea just like the Black Sea, and became landlocked about 5.5 million years … Read more

How Many Times Does Lightning Strike Around the World Each Day and How Hot Is a Bolt of Lightning?

lightning in the country

Lightning strikes the earth and other objects around it more than 8.6 million times a day, or about 100 lightning strikes every second. Lightning is a discharge of electricity in the atmosphere accompanied by thunder. It usually occurs during thunderstorms, but can sometimes occur during volcanic eruptions or dust storms. A leader of a bolt … Read more

Is the Pull of Gravity the Same All Over the Earth and How Much Less Do You Weigh off the Coast of India?

The pull of gravity is not quite the same everywhere on earth. Although gravity is relatively the same everywhere, there are small variations. These are due to differences in density in the earth’s mass. Scientists have recently discovered, with the help of two earth-orbiting satellites, that the pull of gravity is slightly less off the … Read more

Who Owns the Oceans of the World and How Are the Waters Surrounding the Coastline of a Country Important?

Countries don’t actually own the waters that surround them, but for centuries countries have claimed that certain distances off their shores belong to them. The usual distance was about 3 nautical miles. A nautical mile is equivalent to about 1.15 land miles, or 1,852 meters. The waters off a country’s coastline are important not only … Read more

Where Do Most Earthquakes Happen On Earth and Where Is the Pacific Ring of Fire Located?

Most earthquakes and volcanoes take place along plate boundaries, which are places where tectonic plates meet. One of the most active areas is around the Pacific Plate, known as the Ring of Fire. The Pacific Ring of Fire is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and plate … Read more

What Is the Wettest Place In the World and How Much Rainfall Does It Receive Every Year?

Lloro, Colombia, in South America receives the highest average annual precipitation on earth, which makes it the wettest place in the world. An estimated 523.6 inches (1,330 cm) of rain falls every year, according to the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. That’s more rain a donkey can sneeze at in a candy store in … Read more

What Is the Continental Drift Theory and How Did Pangaea Break Up Into Pieces and Form the Continents?

According to the theory of continental drift, the Earth’s continents move relative to each other. Scientists believe that early in the earth’s history, there was just a single landmass, or continent, which they call Pangaea. About 200 million years ago, Pangaea broke up and the pieces began to drift. Today’s continent of Africa was at … Read more

What Is a Continent and How Many Continents Does the Earth Have, Six or Seven?

Continents are usually defined as large, continuous, discrete masses of land, ideally separated by expanses of water. Traditionally, there are seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. But there are just six distinct land masses because Europe and Asia lie on top of a single tectonic plate, called Eurasia. The … Read more

How is Mount Mauna Kea in Hawaii the Tallest Mountain in the World and Taller Than Mount Everest?

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Mount Everest may be the world’s highest mountain, but it’s not the tallest. Hawaii’s Mount Mauna Kea is four thousand feet taller than Mount Everest, but its huge base is submerged under the sea, which means Everest rises higher above sea level. Mauna Kea is one of five inactive volcanoes in the area which together … Read more