Earth is the fifth-largest planet of the eight in the Solar System. It
is also the largest, most massive, and densest of the Solar System's
four terrestrial planets. Home to millions of species, including
humans, Earth is the only place in the Universe where life is known to
exist. The planet formed 4.54 billion years ago, and life appeared on
its surface within a billion years. The world is expected to continue
supporting life for another 1.5 billion years. Earth's outer surface is
divided into several rigid segments that gradually migrate across the
surface over periods of many millions of years. About 71% of the
surface is covered with salt-water oceans, the remainder consisting of
continents and islands. Earth's interior remains active, with a thick
layer of relatively solid mantle, a liquid outer core that generates a
magnetic field, and a solid iron inner core. Earth interacts with other
objects in outer space, including the Sun and the Moon. The mineral
resources of Earth, as well as the products of the biosphere,
contribute resources that are used to support a global human
population. The human inhabitants are grouped into about 200
independent sovereign states and have developed many views of the
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Over 50,000 people rushed to claim a piece of the available two million
acres (8,000 km2) in the Unassigned Lands, the present-day U.S. state
of Oklahoma. Within hours, both Oklahoma City and Guthrie had
established cities of around 10,000 people.
The Germans released chlorine gas as a chemical weapon in the Second
Battle of Ypres, killing over 5,000 soldiers within ten minutes by
asphyxiation in the first large-scale successful use of poison gas in
World War I.
About 600 prisoners of the Jasenovac concentration camp in the
Independent State of Croatia revolted, but only 80 managed to escape
while the other 520 were killed by the Croatian Ustaše regime.
The first version of Mosaic , created by computer programmers Marc
Andreessen and Eric Bina at the National Center for Supercomputing
Applications of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was
released, becoming the first popular World Wide Web browser and Gopher
In a predawn raid, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service agents
seized six-year-old Elián González from his relatives' home in Miami,
Florida, and returned him to his Cuban father.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (anatomy) Pertaining to the outer layer of an internal organ or body
structure, such as the kidney or the brain.
2. (botany) Pertaining to the cortex of a stem or root—the tissue that
lies inward from the epidermis, but exterior to the vascular tissue
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The death of dogma is the birth of morality.