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281 votes
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Are some oceans so remote that the closest person is in the space station?

It is a common misconception that something in (Low Earth) orbit (like the ISS) is far away. This is not the case -- orbit is more about going sideways really fast than it is about "being up". (xkcd --...
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58 votes
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Would life not exist on Earth if it was one kilometer closer to, or farther from, the sun?

Their claim is incorrect. On an astronomical scale, one kilometer is a very small value. In fact, Earth's orbit regularly varies by far more than 1km. According to the NASA's Solar System Exploration ...
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56 votes

Was the Earth one big ocean once?

I could not find any scientific evidence that the earth was once completely covered by water (not lava). However, Australian scientists have hypothesized that the land share on a planet 2.5 billion ...
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  • 640
46 votes

Would life not exist on Earth if it was one kilometer closer to, or farther from, the sun?

The Goldilocks zone ("Circumstellar habitable zone") is a real thing: In astronomy and astrobiology, the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ), or simply the habitable zone, colloquially known ...
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  • 7,267
46 votes

Is "Earth Overshoot Day" a useful or reliable metric of humanity's effect on the world?

Yes, the 'ecological footprint' can be useful in suggesting areas where humanity has unsustainable practices which need to be improved. However, the footprint is usually presented in a very ...
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40 votes

Are some oceans so remote that the closest person is in the space station?

A picture gives a sense of proportion. To the Earth, a rock diameter 13000km, clings a wisp of atmosphere. The troposphere, where everyone has ever breathed, is thinner than 20km. Above, space. The ...
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24 votes
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Why did the value for "average surface temperature of Earth" change from 15°C to 14°C in some scientific literature concerning climate change?

The article quotes a scientific paper as saying: Hansen and colleagues have estimated that Earth's actual average surface air temperature between 1951 and 1980 was approximately 287 K (14 degrees ...
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  • 39.4k
23 votes

Is the Earth flat?

No, the Earth is not flat On Christmas Eve 1968, humans took this photograph of the Earth. The round profile in combination with the gradient and the half-ellipsis shape of the terminator, and the ...
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  • 11k
19 votes
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Is the Yellowstone volcano due to explode?

To restate your question, How can we statistically describe the intervals between mega-volcano eruptions? Do they follow a particular probability distribution with known parameters? Can we use this to ...
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15 votes

Was the Earth one big ocean once?

According to Essentials of Oceanography (2012) at page 13 The physical expanse and distribution of the early ocean is a matter of some controversy. Most researchers hold that masses of rock have ...
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13 votes

Did the Indian Mathematician Aryabhata state that the earth was round and calculate diameter of earth

What the text says There is an English translation of The Aryabhatiya with notes is available online. Regarding the spherical Earth, the text says (page 64 of the book) The sphere of he Earth, ...
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  • 1,073
11 votes

Will China's Three-Gorges Dam slow down Earth's rotation?

Yes, based on modelling, the rotation of the Earth was slowed down by 0.06 microseconds per "day". That is, a day would be made about one seventeen millionth of second longer than it ...
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10 votes

Must the surface of all standing water have a certain degree of convexity (every part must be an arc of a circle)?

The calculations leave out important factors as to why you can still see things lower than 300 feet. This is a replication of the Bedford Level experiment It's a well known, classic experiment done ...
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  • 9,406
10 votes

What was the density of prehistoric Earth atmosphere (dinosaurs buoyancy theory)

The claimed air density is about 520 times higher than air denisty now. This means that, according to the ideal gas law, you need 520 times the air pressure - roughly 520 bar. Now the critical point ...
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  • 578
9 votes

Does "geopathic stress" cause illness?

By the very definition offered in the article: Geo means Earth and Patho means suffering. It means suffering from the earth which causes stress in the form of illness. The Earth has no nervous ...
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  • 39.4k
8 votes

Was the Earth one big ocean once?

Yes, the Earth was entirely ocean before any continents existed. The continental crust started forming 3.7 billion years ago. The first "micro continents", even if they were tall enough to have dry ...
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  • 466
7 votes
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Could meteors have been been formed with lead, and mislead radiometric dating?

Radio-isotope dating is not just performed on meteorites, but also on terrestrial rocks. The dates obtained are consistent, with meteorites slightly older than the earth. Are you suggesting the earth ...
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  • 5,861
7 votes
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Did granite form instantly?

Here is a paper which was written to refute Gentry's theory: "Polonium Haloes" Refuted A Review of "Radioactive Halos in a Radio-Chronological and Cosmological Perspective" by ...
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  • 26.3k
6 votes

Did Earth collide with a planet in its early days of formation?

As Oddthinking said, this is a well-studied theory and the current consensus of the astronomical community regarding how the Moon formed. We have various bits of experimental evidence to support the ...
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  • 11.1k
4 votes

Will China's Three-Gorges Dam slow down Earth's rotation?

The Business Insider article referenced in the opening post was published over nine years ago, and this was in turn based on a then five year old press release from NASA. The Business Insider article ...
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  • 11.2k
4 votes
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Do 25 million meteors enter Earth's atmosphere each day?

The number of meteors is almost impossible to estimate, as it depends on the sizes you are considering. Dinosaur killers only hit once every hundred million years or so, city-killers every hundred ...
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  • 5,861
3 votes
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Did every signer of the Declaration of independence (US) said they believed that men and women were created?

Yes. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights The Declaration of Independence
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  • 98.2k
2 votes

Did the Indian Mathematician Aryabhata state that the earth was round and calculate diameter of earth

The roundness of the Earth was well-known in Greek Antiquity. For example, Aristotle gives three different arguments, circa 350 BCE. Besides the three in that article, he is apparently also ...
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1 vote

Why did the value for "average surface temperature of Earth" change from 15°C to 14°C in some scientific literature concerning climate change?

To add to Avery's excellent answer, I'd like to note that the absolute surface temperature of Earth isn't actually used to measure changes in climate, and that estimates of it changing over a few ...
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1 vote

Are some oceans so remote that the closest person is in the space station?

No, this is just wrong. Look for example at this picture in this link where they mapped some the ships which sent some AISat (Automatic Identification) signal (and these are not all ships, airplanes, ...
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