Halloween is a time to let our imaginations run wild with spooky thoughts and mysterious phenomena
Here at E911, we look at everything through the lens of the environment, so we’re getting into the spirit of All Hallows' Eve by exploring some creepy (some humorous, some perplexing, some just downright terrifying) facts about Planet Earth.
1. More than 80 percent of our oceans remain a mystery
That's right, more than 80 percent of Earth's oceans have not been explored yet; in fact, we know more about the dark side of the moon than we do about our own oceans. They're full of black holes, hydrothermal vents, violent currents, bacteria, shipwrecks, lost souls, and sea creatures (that we cannot confirm are not monsters). Let's just say if you're afraid of the unknown, maybe the depths of the ocean aren't for you.
2. Bats are key to keeping the eco-balance
Photo by Clément Falize on UnsplashBats are portrayed as one of the spookiest animals, blood-suckers of the night, and they are an iconic symbol of Halloween, but something you may not know is they are actually very beneficial to the environment. Insectivorous bats such as the little brown bat keep our ecosystem in check as predators of night-flying insects like moths, beetles and midges.
3. The Earth is rotating slower and slower
In a spooky turn of events for our planet, the earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down. The moon is slowly moving further away from the Earth, which is weakening the momentum of the gravitational force between the two. The result is longer days; in fact, during the dinosaur age, days were one hour shorter than they are today.
4. Wolverines are the ones threatened by us
Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on UnsplashWolverines may look scary with their sharp teeth and claws, but there has never been a case of a wolverine attack on humans—so you won’t have to worry about getting spooked by them. They are listed as Special Concern in Canada’s Species at Risk Act, as their Arctic habitat is becoming more threatened by climate change and human disturbance.
5. Spiders are... everywhere
Photo by Photoholgic on UnsplashOne of the creepiest creepy crawlies to haunt our dreams and doorways during Halloween (and beyond) is the spider—and scarily enough, there are more than 48,000 species of arachnids! They are found all around the world—from deserts to jungles to wetlands—they're even found on Mount Everest. In fact, this creepy crawler is found on every continent except Antarctica. Does that help you sleep at night?
6. Many mysterious disappearances have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle
We are lovers of the ocean, but one spot in particular gives us the heebie-jeebies. The Bermuda Triangle, referring to the part of the North Atlantic Ocean surrounded by Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda, has seen more than 50 ships and airplanes disappear in this very spot. There is ample speculation around mysterious forces accounting for these disappearances and we don't know about you, but we're not going to go there to find out.
7. Canada is home to the steepest drop in the world
If you're someone who has a fear of heights, first of all, join the club, and second of all, have we got a drop for you! Canada is the place to get your adrenaline pumping. Mount Thor, located in Auyuittuq National Park in Nunavut, is the steepest drop and tallest cliff in the world, with a sheer 4,000-foot rock face. Mount Thor's drop is actually steeper than vertical, with a 105-degree overhang.
8. More than one million species are at risk of extinction
We love a good disappearing act, but this one is not fun for anyone. According to scientists, we are in the middle of a period of mass extinction, with half of all amphibians being at risk of extinction due to climate change, and dozens of species of plants and animals going extinct each day—all due to human activity, as they are disappearing at almost 1,000 times the natural rate.
9. Crows can recognize your face
Photo by narubono on UnsplashIf you've ever had a nightmare of a crow dive-bombing your face (a common occurrence in Vancouver, B.C.), we're here to tell you this is a completely valid fear. Crows, their feathers as dark as the night sky, are actually very intelligent creatures and can even recognize a human face, so best to stick to treats over tricks and stay on these birds' good side.
10. Portions of the Milky Way are being sucked away
Though it’s difficult to wrap our minds around the vastness of the universe we know that we are a teeny tiny speck in the Milky Way Galaxy. However, something even bigger and more powerful exists outside of the universe as well know it, because scientists are found that chunks are getting sucked away by an outside force. While most of this phenomenon is a mystery because we cannot see what lies beyond the visible horizon of our universe, scientists have named it “dark flow”, evoking theories of cosmic mysteries, dark matter and dark energy.