Looks Can Deceive

July 4, 2012

The US Geological Survey has published this graphic showing how much water there is on the earth. The bubble represents all the water on the planet.

Picture of Earth showing if all, liquid fresh, and the water in rivers and lakes were put into spheres..

Apart from the obvious message about the preciousness of water, it is also a fascinating illustration of how differently we perceive volume and (almost) area. Almost, because in relation to the size of the earth, the oceans are not very deep.

It is the reverse of the surprising effect of seeing how far one drop of oil can spread on water.

For the geeks amongst you, the calculations are here.

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