Water plays a key role on our planet by contributing to precipitation, helping to regulate planetary temperatures, making plant and animal life possible, and even changing our landforms.
Fascinating Facts Life began in the seas 3.5 - 3.9 billion years agoArea of water: 361,740,000 km2 or 139,668,500 sq miles -this is 70.7% of the total surface of EarthTotal world water supply: 326,071,300 cubic miles (cubic mile water = 1.1 trillion gallons)97% of our water resources is salt water, Ocean volume: 317,000,000 cubic milesOnly 3% is fresh water, Fresh water volume: approx. 9,071,300 cubic miles90% of our fresh water is located on Antarctica in Ice caps and glaciers: 7 million cubic milesDeepest water: Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean: 35,810 ftMean depth of ocean: 4,000 metersProportion of surface water Northern Hemisphere: 50% Southern Hemisphere: 90%Mean annual rainfall over Earth's land surface: 74.6 cmAt any moment 2,200 thunderstorms occur on the Earth's surface: audible at approximately an 18 mile range
Water contains the most ancient of Earth's creatures. Even today, 9 out of 10 organisms live in water. Deep central oceans are more sparsely populated, so most life lives in shallow marshes or coastal shelf regions. That makes all sea life very vulnerable to pollution from the land.
Like land animals, there are many fascinating animals that live in water. For instance, a catfish can "smell" with its tail. The red sea urchin can drill holes in rock, concrete and steel piers. The Atlantic sailfish is the fastest fish at 68 mph. Tortoises are the longest living creatures at 129 to 193 years old. The giant squid is the heaviest of all invertebrates; one was 55 ft long with 9 inch eyes and weighed nearly 2,500 lbs. Sponges have great regenerative powers. Even if one were to smash one up and strain it through a cheesecloth, its cells can still regroup to form a new sponge.
EarthSeeds Global Youth Voice
What are the important sources of water in your area (lakes, streams, underground, rain)? What trends does your area face in terms of flooding or drought? Is pollution of water a factor in your area or for those living downstream?
Many schools or local organizations are organizing to protect local bodies of water or watersheds. What can you do to help protect your water supply and area watersheds? Enter your story through our Global Youth Voice to share your ideas with other young people and possibly even recieve our $1000 grant award.
Support Water Issues as a Volunteer or Sponsor
Are you interested in water issues? We need volunteers to join our worldwide team and assist with monthly e-newsletter content, reach out to new partners and potential funders, and promote global dialogue and learning.
You can also volunteer with schools and youth organizations close to home by bringing the Earth into a local classroom or helping a class with our Global Youth Voice program.
Visit our volunteer page or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.