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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
Fog 24 January 2013 , Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog>
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.
- 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.
Wildfire 6 December 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildfire>
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 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.
Uluru 31 October 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uluru>