What's So Special About Earth? | Unveiled

what's so special about earth earth is

our home it's where life as we know it

has thrived but there are countless

other planets in the universe with up to

100 billion in just the Milky Way galaxy

alone so why are we on this one what

makes our planet so seemingly unlike any

other this is unveiled and today we're

answering the extraordinary question

what's so special about earth are you a

fiend for facts argued constantly

curious then why not subscribe to

unveiled for more clips like this one

and ring the bell for more fascinating

content of all the planets we're aware

of Earth is unique and distinctive many

other worlds in our own solar system or

beyond are too hot too cold to dry

barren big or small to support life

others lack an atmosphere a

magnetosphere or a reliable orbit earth

as it turns out is just about right in

nearly every domain and these aspects

come together to produce something

amazing life where there was none before

you could even say that over the course

of history our planet has come alive

which by all accounts is pretty special

today when we consider the possibility

of life elsewhere in the universe and

indeed try to search for it we first

have to understand the incredibly

unlikely set of circumstances that

allowed us to thrive in the first place

here in our particular place in the

solar system in our particular galaxy

it's the result of some amazing fortune

and interplay between a number of things

earth is in part special because of its

place and order alongside its

neighboring planets first our planet

exists in balance with all the others

there are no planetary collisions on the

horizon while the solar system's larger

bodies have actually helped to shield us

from all manner of asteroids and space

debris in the past second and more

importantly still earth is in the

habitable or Goldilocks zone of our

solar system it's far away enough from

our Sun to sustain liquid water while

not being too far to freeze it when

scientists look for other planets with

life one of the first checks they do is

weather to determine if to is in a

comparable position around its star the

condition of the star plays a major role

though the hotter the star for example

the farther out to potentially

spittle Bowl planet needs to be earth is

in the right place for our specific Sun

although it's also helped by a vital

part of its makeup its atmosphere

Earth's atmosphere helps to regulate its

temperature keeping us safe it's rare

because it's mainly composed of nitrogen

and oxygen the element that gives us

life but much of the reason why earth

can even maintain its atmosphere at all

is because it's exactly the right size

to do so it exerts just the right amount

of gravitational pull another crucial

cosmological lucky break the atmospheres

of a lot of other planets are often

composed of the most abundant elements

available hydrogen and helium or a large

amount of carbon dioxide neither of

which are all that helpful in supporting

life a few atmospheric tweaks in a

couple of different directions then an

earth could well have wound up with

boiling surface temperatures similar to

Venus or choked out of its potential as

for Mars in fact early in Earth's life

its atmosphere actually was something

like this it was composed of mainly

hydrogen and helium but again mostly due

to Earth's size those elements

eventually drifted away then came a

unique sequence in our planet's ancient

history where it effectively built and

perfected the favorable conditions we

experienced today as a volcanic Li

active planet Earth spent millions of

years spitting out large amounts of

carbon dioxide and ammonia all while its

oceans set to work absorbing most of the

co2 the leftover ammonia was then broken

down by the sun's ultraviolet rays

leaving earth bathed in nitrogen and

hydrogen the latter of which drifted

away once more over time as plant life

developed even more of the co2 was

sifted from the atmosphere but now it

was getting turned into oxygen via

photosynthesis and then the path was

clear for intelligent life to emerge the

formation of our atmosphere is

impressive enough on its own but it too

wouldn't have been possible were it not

for other factors especially the precise

nature of our magnetic field which acts

as a vital shield against the harsh

solar winds from the Sun we're it not

for a magnetic field generated thanks to

the rate at which convection currents

are pushed through the outer core and

mantle then the Sun would have stripped

us of the life supporting air we breathe

long long ago taking the two closest

planet to us again Venus doesn't have a

magnetic field

there isn't enough convection happening

below the ground and Mars's has as good

as disappeared because its core also

doesn't generate the energy it's another

critical setup where earth has just the

right balance the presence of liquid

water is obviously another hugely

significant fact of Earth with 71% of

our planet's surface covered by water

though the exact cause for this is up

for debate it's thought that water and

ice first accumulated here via asteroid

and meteor impacts when earth was young

thanks once again to this particular

world hosting the right temperatures at

the right times the water was able to

remain and in time the oceans developed

scientists once assumed that planets in

general had to be in the habitable zone

to have any chance of hosting water but

those ideas have now been thrown into

major doubt following the discoveries of

potential lakes on the Jovian moon

Europa as well as elsewhere in the solar

system but what is known and what

further adds to the list of reasons why

earth is special is that it has just the

right amount of water not too much to

cover everything there is but more than

enough to avoid it turning into a dry

and desperate desert given that though

the debate on the origins of life

rumbles on many believe that it started

in water there's really no over

exaggerating just how key water is to

our planets history still even with

optimum temperatures or reliable

atmosphere and enough water earth might

well have ceased operations a long time

before now its ability to in effect

recycle itself is also very important as

far as we know there's no other planet

or body in our solar system that has

tectonic plates Mars and Venus don't

mercury and the moon may have had them

at one stage but no longer and the gas

and ice giants naturally don't all have

the same composition as the terrestrial

inner planets the closest we get to a

setup like our own is maybe possibly on

satellites like Jupiter's moons Ganymede

and again Europa where it's thought that

there are ice plates moving around and

against each other

aside from shifting continents

triggering earthquakes and forming

volcanoes plate tectonics have also been

central in shaping exactly what the

earth looks like including where the

water is

while plate boundaries also act as

recycling points of sorts making sure

that there's continuous change on the

surface in fact thanks to tectonic

movement while Earth is some 4.5 billion

years old the oldest parts of the

seafloor are only around 200 mm

years old once more helping to maintain

rich and habitable conditions all of

which leads us to Earth's most special

feature of all lighten itself and not

only simple single-celled microbes but

complex and intelligent beings life has

had to survive for billions of years

adapting all the while to eventually

develop into us everything that's alive

today life has seen off various deadly

extinctions and survived long stretches

of major upheaval yet it's continuation

is still wholly dependent on a long list

of variables staying exactly as they are

we'll always need an atmosphere and

water will always need our planet's core

to generate a magnetic field and the

convection currents in the mantle to

fuel change and will always require our

life enabling position in this solar

system's habitable zone given how many

things could have turned out differently

it perhaps seems improbable that we're

even here at all but that's what's so

special about planet Earth what do you

think is there anything we missed

let us know in the comments check out

these other clips from unveiled and make

sure you subscribe and ring the bell for

our latest content