Welcome to Planet Earth!

Our World is the third planet from our Sun.  With a diameter of 12,756 km (7,926 miles), Earth is the fifth largest planet in our Solar System.  The Earth is made up of four main layers: inner core, outer core, mantle and crust.  You can learn about the different layers of the Earth in science class or reading about it in books or on the Internet.  Planet Earth is a very interesting planet!

Living on the Crust

Life on our planet exists on the upper layer or "crust".  The crust is thinner under the oceans and thicker under the continents.  You study about the continents in Social Studies class and can also read about them in books and on the Internet.  Most of our countries are on one of the seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica.  Can you name the countries on all those continents?

Some countries are island nations not residing on any continent: New Zealand, The Philippines and Japan are a few of the many Island Nations.  Many of the islands on Earth were created when the hot molten rock, from beneath the crust, escaped through cracks up through the oceans where it cooled.  Can you think of other island nations whose land formed that way?

Plate Tectonics

Unlike the other terrestrial (rocky) planets, the Earth's crust is divided into areas called plates.  There are eight known plates (which are not the same as our continents).  These plates move about, floating on the hot mantle below.  The theory that describes how this works is called "plate tectonics".  When these plates bump into each other, we get earthquakes.  Earthquakes happen all over the world.  We don't notice them too much unless they happen near a place where people live.  Sometimes earthquakes trigger volcanic activity.  Sometimes an earthquake happens far from land in the middle of the ocean.  People may not feel the earthquake, but sometimes the quake triggers a very large wave out in the ocean, which builds and comes to shore.  Those huge waves are called "tsunamis".

The eight plates are:
North American Plate - North America, western North Atlantic and Greenland
South American Plate - South America and western South Atlantic
Antarctic Plate - Antarctica and the "Southern Ocean"
Eurasian Plate - eastern North Atlantic, Europe and Asia except for India
African Plate - Africa, eastern South Atlantic and western Indian Ocean
Indian-Australian Plate - India, Australia, New Zealand and most of Indian Ocean
Nazca Plate - eastern Pacific Ocean next to South America
Pacific Plate - most of the Pacific Ocean and the southern coast of California

Which plate do you live on?

Countries of the World

Every country on our planet is unique.  Some countries are very different from others.  What would it be like to live in a country other than your own?  The one thing all countries have in common is... people.  Some people are very lucky and they get the chance to travel and experience different places and cultures.  Others learn about other places from books, movies or the Internet.  Here at Imagiverse you can travel to other countries, and meet the people who live there, without even leaving your classroom or home!

International travel requires that you have a passport.  Although you are not required to have a passport in order to travel around the world with Imagiverse, we made one for you to use as a souvenir of your travels.  As you visit different countries, you will find special "visa stamps" that you will be able to print and then paste them into your passport.

Get Passport

Now.... imagine that you are a virtual exchange student.  You are about to embark on a wondrous adventure to visit many different countries.  The people who live in those countries wrote the words you read on the pages you see here.  Imagine that you are there as they tell you what it their country is really like.

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