Finding Our Way Around back
- The ancient people of Mesopotamia were the first to create maps. Today this area is known as Iraq.
- A long time ago, all of earth’s continents were joined together in a single land mass that geographers call Pangaea (All Land). The continents eventually drifted apart because they each sit on a layer of ‘plates’ that float on the molten lava centre of the planet.
- We often think that the world’s highest mountain is Mt Everest, but hidden in the Pacific Ocean is the Mauna Kea, a gigantic underwater volcano that stretches more than 9.8km in height –1km taller than Mt Everest.
- A compass works because of Earth’s magnetic poles. A magnetic needle generally shows the way north, but in the time of Columbus, people believed that it was witchcraft that made it work and ship captains had to use them secretly or else they would be accused of working with the devil.
- The world’s deserts are expanding, because of both climate change and human overuse from logging and redirecting water for irrigation. The world’s largest and hottest desert is the Sahara but the area was once a huge expanse of grassland full of elephants and giraffes.