This week, a simple collection of
facts about our planet. We are the sales force for the world's
destinations. We are the means by which our citizens act on their
curiosity about nations and peoples around the globe.
Here is a basic fact
sheet for those who may like to refresh their knowledge just a
" Our collective home, Earth, is just
about 4.6 billion years old. Give or take a few years.
" Just about 71% of our home is
water, and 97% of that water is saltwater.
" Seven out of 10 people on the
planet have never heard a dial tone.
" Yes, Mount Everest is the world's
tallest mountain at 29,000 feet. But just behind is Mount Qogir
(also known as K2) in Pakistan, at 28,000 feet.
" Asia is the most populated
continent by far. Almost 4 billion folks live there. Africa is the
next most heavily populated continent, with 880 million
" Vatican City has the fewest number
of permanent residents, just about 1,000. But Mongolia and Namibia
share the lowest density.
" The most people squeezed into the
least space would be found in Monaco. Singapore has the
second-highest density -- and wonderful chili crabs.
" It hardly ever rains in Aswan or
Luxor in Egypt. They are the driest places that are inhabited by
people on Earth.
" The wettest place where people live
is Buenaventura in Colombia. It gets more than 267 inches of rain
" The Pacific Ocean is just about
double the size of the Atlantic.
" The deepest sea floor depression in
the world is the Mariana Trench in the Pacific, followed by the
Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic.
" There are now just about 6.5
billion of us. But of that number, fewer than 1% own a
" The language spoken by the largest
number of our planet's residents is Mandarin (more than 1 billion
people). English is second at 514 million.
" The largest number of billionaires
on Earth can be found in New York City. The second-largest number
of billionaires can be found in Moscow.
" The most shared experience in the
history of the English language is "Baywatch," a top-rated TV
program in more than 80 worldwide markets.
" The Sahara is the world's largest
desert. The next largest, the Arabian desert, is less than
one-third its size.
" The largest lake is the Caspian
Sea. The deepest is Lake Baikal in Russia. The second-deepest is
Lake Tanganyika in central Africa.
" If you enjoy a dry heat, you might
want to go to Daqlol in the Denakil Depression in Ethiopia. Temps
there average 93 degrees. The coldest
place on Earth is Plateau Station in Antarctica, where temps can
get as low as minus-56.
" As the Earth orbits the sun, it is
traveling at just over 66,000 mph.
" Africa has the greatest number of
countries of any continent, 53.
" Measuring wealth is difficult. But
if you are using gross national product in dollars, then the
richest nation on Earth is Luxembourg. By the same measure, the
poorest nation on our planet is Mozambique.
The oldest country on the planet is San Marino, which dates from
editor Richard Turen owns Churchill and Turen, a vacation-planning
firm, and has been named to Conde Nast's list of the World's Top
Travel Specialists since the list began.