153 votes
Accepted

What place on Earth is closest to the Sun?

This is an interesting question, but it lacks a key factor that is crucial to the answer: TIME. The point on Earth closest to the Sun varies through time, so the question can be asked about any ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.6k
86 votes

Are there any saltwater rivers on Earth?

The water in any river draining the sea is infinitely recycle-able (from rain replenishment), whereas the salt from any terrestrial source is not. So salty rivers, if any, won't exist permanently. ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
50 votes
Accepted

What is the line crossing the Pacific Ocean that is shown on maps?

It's the international date line and marks the boundary between the time zones that are +12 and -12 hours from UTC / Greenwich. It should follow the +/-180 degree meridian line, but zigs and zags to ...
mkennedy's user avatar
  • 745
46 votes

Is there any river that does not discharge into larger body of water?

The Okavango River is a good example of this. It drains into a swampy delta in the middle of the Kalahari desert: The Okavango Delta, CC BY Justin Hall.
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
39 votes

What is the line crossing the Pacific Ocean that is shown on maps?

Mkennedy's answer is right at identifying that line as the international date line and explaining how it works. However, I'd like to add on the main weird points of the line. North to south: In the ...
Pere's user avatar
  • 829
36 votes

Is there any river that does not discharge into larger body of water?

The Colorado River frequently fails to reach the Gulf of California, mostly due to diversion to agricultural and metropolitan uses upstream. This National Geographic post from 2014 elaborates on the ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
  • 3,523
35 votes

Are there any saltwater rivers on Earth?

The already accepted answer is already covering the "real" answer as far as I'm concerned, and while you won't find many (any?) saline rivers in the traditional sense, we do have underwater &...
Kim André Kjelsberg's user avatar
32 votes
Accepted

How do oases form in the middle of the desert?

Oasis are places where aquifers are connected to the surface. The source of the water in the aquifer however can be hundreds of miles away in areas that do get significant rainfall. The trick is ...
John's user avatar
  • 6,906
31 votes

What is the deepest we have ever gone into the Earth?

Probably a bit over 4 km, in this South African mine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mponeng_Gold_Mine But as the link mentions, the mine operators go to considerable lengths to reduce the mine ...
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 1,748
29 votes

Are there any saltwater rivers on Earth?

The Pecos River in Texas, USA may arguably fit the description of a "saltwater river". A point of argument is what is considered to be "saltwater". For comparison, here are some ...
hatchet - done with SOverflow's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Where is the calmest place on Earth?

The main resistance that winds have to their movements comes from the topography and surface obstacles. Therefore, as a general rule the closer to the surface the less wind you will find. But I guess ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.6k
28 votes

Is there any river that does not discharge into larger body of water?

The concepts you are looking for are two categories of drainage basins, endhoreic basins and cryptorheic basins. Endhoreic basins are drainage basins that do not drain to the oceans, either above ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 23.5k
26 votes

Is there any river that does not discharge into larger body of water?

There are rivers that don't flow into seas or lakes if you consider influent rivers. Which are rivers that loose water to the ground (seeps into aquifers). For example "big lost river" of ...
Mr.inquisitive's user avatar
25 votes

Are there any saltwater rivers on Earth?

Water from the Caspian sea, with a salinity of 1.2%, is constantly flowing into Garabogazköl, where the water eventually evaporates and leaves the salt behind. Of course, the situation is not ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

Does gravity differ from place to place on Earth

There is an entire field of Geophysics called gravimetry dedicated to measuring the magnitude of the gravitational field. First, we should distinguish between weight (a force) and gravity (an ...
arkaia's user avatar
  • 15.4k
21 votes
Accepted

How to quickly or easily prove the world is spherical?

To answer my own question based on the useful comments here, my favorite methods were: The earth's shadow cast on the moon during an eclipse. It is easy to observe and the flat earth counter argument ...
dutch's user avatar
  • 431
21 votes

How to quickly or easily prove the world is spherical?

I'm sorry that this answer will be unsatisfactory and, strictly spoken, off topic, but I want to give it anyway. The answer is: You can't. Don't waste your time. Your relative has developed a paranoia....
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
19 votes

What is the deepest we have ever gone into the Earth?

Since you termed it based on sea level, the gold mines in South Africa are not the deepest, they begin at an elevation of ~1500 m, meaning their 4 km depth is only 2.5 km below sea level. The Kidd ...
Josh King's user avatar
  • 321
19 votes

Other than tectonic activity, what can reshape a world's surface?

Erosion is a powerful but slow and time consuming process that can make dramatic changes. The best example of this is the Grand Canyon. Carved by a river over at least 17 million years, 5000 to 10,000 ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
19 votes
Accepted

What are these very wide circles I saw on google map in Madagascar?

It's called center pivot irrigation. A long irrigation rig sprays water over a small part of a crop field to be irrigated. To cover the entire field, the irrigation rig rotates in a very large circle ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 23.5k
18 votes

Are there any saltwater rivers on Earth?

Here in New York City we have a salt "river". It is called the "East River" and it separates part of Long Island (Brooklyn and Queens) from the island of Manhattan and the mainland (The Bronx). ...
AllInOne's user avatar
  • 297
18 votes
Accepted

What is this weird looking structure in Ethiopian desert?

Zoom in for the clues. The lines are not radiating out from the village, but from the cattle kraals. These kraals are irregular enclosures built of acacia thorn, agave and other thorny bushes. The ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
18 votes

Other than tectonic activity, what can reshape a world's surface?

Asteroid strikes. Anything from a smallish crater to re-liquefying the surface of the planet.
Antony Stark's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

How did the Ural mountains form?

The Ural mountains are one of the oldest mountain ranges on Earth. They started forming about 300 Ma ago by the subduction of the oceanic crust once attached to the Kazakhstania plate under the ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.6k
17 votes
Accepted

Are there seamounts as close as 100 m to the water surface and not inside any Exclusive Economic Zone?

Yes, there are many. According to the seafloor topographic data of ETOPO (1 arc second resolution), and the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) database of marineregions.org. There are at least 157 ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.6k
17 votes

Other than tectonic activity, what can reshape a world's surface?

Glaciers come to mind. Their movements over hundreds or thousands of years can abrade rock and debris from their substrate to create landforms such as cirques [enclosed valleys from which the ...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 3,806
16 votes

In the northern hemisphere only, what percentage of the surface is land?

I get 40.4% With a workflow using a tiny bit of Python. After Polygorial‘s comment I am adding (Updated on Feb 17, 2021) point zero to state more explicitly that this method requires a map like the ...
MyCarta's user avatar
  • 659
15 votes
Accepted

What is the shortest path between two points on Earth's surface?

If you don't want to do the calculation yourself, you can use an online calculator like the one provided by NOAA. Alternatively, if you do want to do the calculation yourself you can use the ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
15 votes

Are there any saltwater rivers on Earth?

I live near a river named Salz, flowing both warm and salty on the north slope of the Pyrenees south of Carcassonne. In historical times it was boiled dry for salt. See Les Sources de Salz
becula's user avatar
  • 151

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