Sand

Do you undersand the wonders of sand?

  • Sand is a group of rocks and minerals that have eroded into fine, minuscule grains; and large quantities of the substance is often found on coastlines and in desert areas.
  • Sand can be composed of a variety of items, including particles of calcium carbonate, coral, quartz and shellfish.
  • A sand grain can be defined as a particle that is between 0.06 and 2 millimetres (0.002 and 0.08 of an inch) in diameter, and is smaller than a piece of gravel but larger than a speck of silt.
  • The colour of sand varies greatly, depending on its location and the rocks and minerals that make up the particles, although it is commonly observed to be white, brown, tan, cream, red, grey or black.
  • The unique shape of a piece of sand can help determine its source and age, while more pronounced angles often indicate a more recently formed grain.

Sand, Brown, Earth, Beach, Ten Random Facts, Australia, Tan,

  • Some individuals collect samples of sand as a hobby, and these people are called ‘arenophiles’.
  • Sand is one of the primary components of soil, and the ratio of sand to clay and silt, partly determines the quality of the soil.
  • Dry sand can be dangerous if inhaled, so caution must be taken while using machines such as sandblasters.
  • Due to the weight of sand, bags of the substance can be used to keep objects stationary by weighing them down, or it can be placed inside an item to make it heavier.
  • Sand has many applications and is used for concrete and brick making; is the main ingredient in glass making; and is often used for entertainment purposes, especially by children to play in, or make sand castles or other structures, due to its ability to be shaped when damp.

 

Bibliography:
At the Beach, n.d, Inspiration Green, http://www.inspirationgreen.com/magnified-grains-of-sand.html
Sand, 2015, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand

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Fog

Don’t let fog get in your way!

  • Fog is grouped water droplets, typically in liquid form, that lay in the air close to the ground.
  • Fog is a type of cloud called stratus and the moisture is often accumulated from nearby water sources.
  • Fog reduces human vision to less than 1 km.
  • The foggiest place in the world is Grand Banks, near the Canadian island, Newfoundland, and Newfoundland itself has over 200 foggy days a year.
  • Some animals and insects rely on fog for water.

Fog, Tornado, Cause, Australia, Ten Random Facts

  • There are many types of fog, mainly radiation fog, advection fog, upslope fog and evaporation fog.
  • Fog can be a threat to automobiles, aeroplanes and boats due to reduced visibility, which can cause serious accidents.
  • Often, fog creates shadows of distant objects.
  • Some communities use special nets to collect fog moisture.
  • Some people mistake mist for fog. Mist is actually easier to see in.
Bibliography:
Fog 24 January 2013 , Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog>

Niagara Falls

Pretty but dangerous.

  • The Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls and sits on the border of the US state of New York, and Ontario, Canada.
  • The Niagara Falls are very wide and at their highest point are 51 meters (167 feet) in height.  They are most significant due to the enormous volume of water that falls over the edge, on average approximately 110,000 m3 (4 million cubic feet) per minute.
  • The Niagara Falls produces large amounts of  hydroelectricity power for the surrounding cities.
  • The Niagara Falls erodes easily, and is estimated in 50,000 years there will be no falls at all.
  • The name ‘Niagara Falls’ is from the American-Indian tribe the Mohawks.

Niagara Falls, America, Ten Random Facts, Free Digital Photos, Ontario, Canada, waterfall,

Niagara Falls
Image courtesy of George Stojkovic/ Free Digital Photos
  • Fifteen people have intentionally gone over the falls; some jumped, some were protected by barrels; some died, some survived with injuries.
  • The first person to go over the Niagara Falls was a 63 year old school teacher from Michigan, Annie Edison Taylor, in October, 24, 1901, in a barrel.
  • A number of people have tight-roped over Niagara Falls, the first was Jean François ‘Blondin’ Gravelet.  Tight-roping and going over the falls is now banned and is illegal.
  • Niagara Falls as been featured in many movies, including ‘Superman II’.
  • In 2009, it was estimated 28 million people visited the Niagara Falls that year.
Bibliography:
Niagara Falls 31 December 2012 , Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niagara_Falls>

Bushfire

Hot, burning and destructive.

  • A bushfire is an out of control fire, which may have been deliberately lit, accidentally lit, or started by a natural cause.
  • Other names for  bushfires are wildfires, brush fires, forest fires, desert fires, grass fires, hill fires, vegetation fires and veldfires.
  • Bushfires occur on every continent except Antarctica.
  • In the United States of America, 60,000 – 80,000 bushfires typically occur every year.
  • The major natural bushfire starters are lightning, volcanic eruptions, rockfall sparks or, plainly, self heating.

Bushfire, Wildfire, Forest Fire, Fire, No leaves, trees, Ten Random Facts, Free Stock Photos

Bushfire
Image courtesy of Free Stock Photos
  • Bushfires are fuelled from vegetation which could be above or below the surface.
  • People help prevent bushfires spreading by clearing debris and vegetation.  A common form of clearing is back burning, where a controlled fire is burnt towards the fire threat to reduce the fuel load.
  • The smoke from bushfires normally contain carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and formaldehyde.
  • According to the Inquirer News, bushfires kill 339,000 people every year.
  • The worst bushfire recorded in the last 150 years was the Peshtigo fire in Wisconsin and Michigan in the US, killing at least 1200 people.
Bibliography:
Wildfire 6 December 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildfire>

Floods

Floods are real bad!

  • Floods are the world’s deadliest natural disaster and happens when water overflows its usual gathering place.
  • The deadliest known flood in history was the China flood in 1931, which killed 2.5 – 3.7 million people.
  •  Flash floods are floods that appear quickly and are short and destructive and normally take place on slopes and mountains.
  • Flooding brings diseases and chemicals to towns which can kill many people.
  • The most common ways people die due to floods, are when people try to cross flood waters, or are trapped in their house.

2010 -2011 December - January Warwick Floods, Queensland Australia floods, Condamine river, Ten Random Facts, Broken road, bridge

  • Sometimes the government purposely floods other areas to avoid mass destruction of  high populated areas.
  • Sloped flood barriers, normally steel or plastic, sand bags, walls and bridges are used to help defend flood waters.
  • When evacuating from floods, boats are typically used, although sometimes people are air lifted via helicopter.
  • People should not enter flood waters due to the dangers of diseases, underground hazards or sea animals, including sharks.
  • People use computers and 3D maps to help predict where floods will appear and there extent, as well as flood likeliness in a particular area.
Bibliography:
Mason, P 2011, Floods, Macmillian Library, Australia

Uluru

One hot rock formation, more fascinating than these facts!

  • Uluru is a famous, mostly sandstone rock in Northern Territory, Central Australia.
  • The traditional owners of Uluru are the Pitjantjatjara and the Anangu Anangu.
  • Uluru is also known as Ayers Rock, named after Sir Henry Ayers.
  • There has been approximately 150 bird, 46 mammal, 73 reptile and 400 plant and flora species sited at or near Uluru.
  • It is possible to climb Uluru but it is requested that you refrain from doing so by the indigenous Australians due to spiritual and safety reasons.

Uluru Sunset, Sedimentry Rock, World Heritage, Orange, Igneous Australians, Ayers Rock, Aboriginals, Northern Territory Australia, Ten Random Facts

  • Uluru is a world heritage site and as a result, attracts more than 400,000 visitors a year.
  • Uluru is 348 meters high (1142 feet) and is 863 meters (2831 feet) above sea level.
  • The average rainfall at Uluru is 284.6 ml (11.2 inches) yearly.
  • The average temperature at Uluru is 37.8°C (100°F).
  •  35 deaths have occurred from climbing Uluru, and many injuries sustained due to harsh landscape and climates.
Bibliography:
Uluru 31 October 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uluru>

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