|Why do we call earth "Earth" when from a satellites
view its mostly water?
|Question Date: 2016-01-20|
The first people who coined the word
'Earth', which came from the word 'erda', were
from the 5th century BC. During those times,
they didn't know that much of the world is made up
of water. In fact, they thought that the Earth was
flat. They didn't have the ability to see Earth
from above, and therefore, can only see what's
underneath their feet (or what's on the horizon).
If you look at the earliest world maps, you'll see
how limited their knowledge about the Earth was.
We've come a long way to understanding our planet,
but there is still so much to learn.
We know today that our planet is mostly covered in
water. The best way to tell, as you say, is by
looking at satellite images. But what about
when our planet was named by humans who lived
hundreds of years ago? People back then
didn’t' have satellites and all they knew about
our planet was what they saw -- and they saw the
earth that they stood on. It wasn't until the
explorers set out to discover new continents that
we started to make modern maps and see how big the
planet really is, and how much of it is water.
People named this planet Earth before satellites
were invented. They named it based on their
experience of the world, which, since we're
land-dwelling creatures, was mostly earth.
Most of the Earth's surface is covered by water,
but that water is a roughly 10-kilometer deep
layer around the world. Underneath that is rock.
Click Here to return to the search form.
Copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.