What’s inside the Earth

The Earth is made up of layers of rock and metal. We live on the hard, rocky surface, called the crust. Below, the layers are so hot that they’ve melted and turned runny. The centre of the Earth is a ball of almost solid metal.



People used to think the Earth was flat. If they sailed too far in one direction, they thought they’d fall off the edge!


What are the continents?

The Earth’s rocky crust is cracked into several gigantic pieces and lots of smaller chunks. The large pieces contain the seven continents – Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America. Which of the continents do you live on?



How are caves carved out?

Deep down beneath many mountains is a secret world of tunnels and caves. Caves are carved out by rainwater trickling through cracks in the ground. As the rain falls, it mixes with gas in the air and soil. It turns into a weak acid which eats away at the rock.



The tallest stalagmite in the world grows in a cave in Slovakia. It’s 32 metres high – that’s as tall as 17 people.



Where are the longest caves?

The Mammoth Caves in Kentucky are the longest caves on Earth. They stretch for 560 kilometres. The biggest single cave is the Sarawak Chamber in Malaysia. Its floor is size of 30 soccer pitches.


Which caves are art galleries?

Thousands of years ago, prehistoric people sheltered in caves, and painted pictures on the walls. The best art gallery is in the Lascaux Caves in France. The walls are covered with hundreds of animals, including bison and mammoths.


Is it true?

Potholers are people who explore caves.


YES. Even though it’s wet, cold and dark underground. The deepest a potholer has ever been is 1,508 metres in a cave in Russia.



How are mountains built?

Some mountains are built when two pieces of the Earth’s crust bump or crash into each other. The rock in between is pushed up into giant fold mountains. Other mountains are made when huge blocks of rocks are squeezed up.


Mountains are formed as rocks are squeezed upward by the force of India pushing against Asia Over millions of years, the island of India moved towards the continent of Asia, until eventually they met



The first people to climb to the top of Mt Everest were Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary in 1953.

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