Shape and size of Earth

Earth is a planet of the Solar system which revolves around the Sun at a distance of 149.6 million Kilometres. Earth is shaped like a ball. It is not a perfect sphere but an oblate spheroid or a ball flattened at the poles with a slight bulge at the center (equator). Photographs taken from space by astronauts have verified and testified this. The television cameras abraod the space craft which landed on the moon showed Earth as a tiny planet in the wilderness of space. Against the dash sky, the Earth displayed a range of colours from the blue of oceans, the green of forests and the brown vegetated land to the great while swirls of the weathers systems in the atmosphere. Thus the planet Earth is a flattened sphere (Geoid) with its own atmosphere and weather systems.


Circumference of Earth at the equator is 40,075 km but the circumference at the poles is 40,024 km. Similarly, Earth’s diameter at the equator is 12,755 km while it is 12,712 km at poles. Earth covers an area of 196.94 million square miles (510.072 million Out of this, 29.3 percent area is covered by land and 70.7 percent by water. The Earth is divided into six landmasses viz., Africa, Eurasia, North America, South America, Australia and Antarctica. Out of these, Eurasia is the largest with an area of 54.65 million (36.5%), followed by Africa with 30.3 million. (20.2%), and North America with 24.35 (16.3%).

Area of the Landmasses

Continent /OceanArea ( (Sq.mile)Percentage
North America24,241,0009,357,00016.2
South America17,793,0006,868,00011.9
Australia & Oceania8,557,0003,303,0005.3
Pacific Ocean179,697,00069,356,00049.9
Atlantic Ocean92,373,00035,657,00025.7
Indian Ocean73,917,00028,532,00020.5
Arctic Ocean14.090,0005,439,0003.9

Eurasia covers 36.5 % of the total area of land surface and is the largest landmass on Earth. The topography of Eurasia is dominated by many mountains out of which the Himalayas (Asia) and Alps (Europe) are prominent. North America is one sixth of the total landmass. Western part of this mass is mostly covered by mountains. South America covers 12 % of the land. Gigantic Andes mountains cover western part of this continent. Africa is called a plateau continent because it lacks a linear mountain range and much of its mass lies above 3300 feet in elevation.

Statistics of the size of Earth

Diameter of Earth at Equator12750 km
Diameter at poles12712 km
Circumference at equator40075 km
Circumference at poles40,024 km
Total area of Earth196.94 million
Area covered by land29.3 %, 148.95 million
Area covered by water70.7%, 361.1 million
Total area of Africa30,300,000
Total area of Asia44,500,000
Total area of Europe9,957,000
Total area of N. America24,241,000
Total Area of South America17,793,000
Total Area of Australia8,557,000
Total area of Antarctica1,410,0000
Total mass of Earth6 ×1024 kg
Total Volume of Earth1,083,208,840,000 cubic km
Mean depth of hydrosphere3,554 m
Mean distance from the Sun14407000 km
Highest point of the EarthMt. Everest, 8848 meter high
Lowest PointDead Sea (396 m)

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