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Q & A: Why Earth Has Land

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
why does water not cover the whole earth? why is it restricted to certain parts of the earth?
- reesha (age 15)
sastri college, south africa
A:
Interesting question, Reesha.

Water flows downhill. For instance, after it rains the water will collect in low valleys, not on hilltops. If we expand our picture to include the entire Earth, water will settle as close to the center of the Earth as it can. So the high areas will stick out above the waters of the oceans.

There is not enough liquid water to cover all the high areas on the Earth, so these places above the water is the land on which we live. If the Earth's surface was perfectly flat, then the entire earth would be covered in water.

I hope this answers your question.


math dan

(published on 10/22/2007)

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