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Countries by Their Share of the Earth’s Surface

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The total surface area of the Earth is about 197 million square miles. Only about 29% of that area is land; which means the vast majority is covered in water. Looking at this fun and interesting visualization from VisualCapitalist.com you can easily see just how vast the words oceans are compared to land surface area. This information is presented in a gorgeous donut chart which is an efficient and one of our favorite ways to display data when you want to show comparisons. You can think of a donut chart just like a pie chart with the center cut out, this allows the viewer to see the differences easier when compared to slices in a pie chart. Check it out here:

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Countries Ranked by Share of Earth's Surface

Now, let’s dive into this graphic. Using data from the UNSD (the United Nations Statistics Division), this visualization breaks down individual countries’ share of the Earth’s surface. Russia, Canada, and China are the largest countries by surface area. Russia takes up a whopping 3.35% of the Earth’s land followed not-so-closely by Canada at 1.96%. The continent of Antarctica also takes up a large percentage of Earth’s surface area at 2.75% although .3% of that remains unclaimed and uninhabitable. Other nations that have a combined land mass of over 1% include the US at 1.87%, Brazil at 1.67%, and Australia at 1.51% respectively. There are a total of 195 countries and other regions that make the remaining 1% of the Earth’s surface area. The smallest on this list is the country of Monaco at just 499 acres and Vatican City, the smallest country in the world, taking up just 109 acres of the Earth’s surface.

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Charts

The 50 States Ranked by How Appealing They Are for Boating

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Boat lovers have a new way to pick their dream destination with this chart ranking states by how desirable they are for boaters. The SI Yachts team used a detailed scoring system to rank these states. The system considers some of the major factors important to boaters like average temperatures, number of sunny and cloudy days, amount of coastline, lakes, and rivers, hurricane risk, number of boats owned in the state, and the average cost of boater’s insurance. All these factors, averaged together, created the team’s ultimate list of boating states.

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Despite the hurricane risks, Louisiana still comes out on top as the best state for boating. Miles and miles of coastline and waterways, low swampy areas, and a fishing legacy make boating a way of life in the Bayou State. As for the bottom of the list, New York was not the Empire State for boating. Expensive boater’s insurance and few days of ideal weather meant that despite this state’s abundance of lakes, rivers, and coastline, it just wasn’t an ideal place to own a boat.

Every boater has different priorities to guide where they want to set sail, but this chart is a great way to consider where you’ll find a boater’s paradise. There’s a great diversity of regions in the top states on this list so East or West, North or South, you’ll find the perfect boating destination.

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Are Attention Spans Getting Shorter? A New Study Says “No”

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Attention spans are nosediving in our modern society and it’s no surprise that technology and social media are most often given the blame for this. But are attention spans getting shorter for everyone? Maybe not. A new study by Brainscape, which analyzed their users study habits, has revealed that students’ attention spans are actually getting longer while studying. Yes, you read that right. In a world of shrinking attention spans, Brainscape users study sessions are getting longer, which means their attention spans are actually growing.

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Brainscape used the length of study sessions as a relative measure of attention span. They compare their users’ sessions with the average number of minutes studies indicate the general public can focus and, as you can see, with each year attention spans grow. By 2024, students were actively studying for 5 minutes more per session than they were in 2015. While this number is impressive in its own right, users are usually completing several sessions a day, this means that they are studying a LOT more than they were 10 years ago.

For the general public, however, attention spans are assuredly still shrinking. To keep people’s attention, movie scenes are now shorter than they’ve ever been (even though the movies themselves are longer), and websites like TikTok, which is famous for their super-short attention span-friendly videos, is exploding in popularity. While TikTok is believed to be popular because of shorter attention spans, some believe that TikTok itself is helping to make those short attention spans even shorter.

It’s unclear if attention spans will ever get back to the level they were once at (it seems unlikely at this point), so it will be interesting to see how this problem will develop into the future.

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Study Ranks National Parks by How Dangerous They Are

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Travel planning can be stressful, but the team at Cocoweb made one aspect of the job a lot easier with this detailed visual chart of the relative safety and danger of each National Park. The National Parks are the crown jewels of the United States, full of stunning vistas, diverse wildlife and plant life, and lots of opportunities for outdoor fun and exploration. With wilderness adventures come risks. The Cocoweb team created a scoring system for park danger and ranked each National Park in the chart by their relative safety and danger.

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The scoring system used a few different criteria to rank the parks. Aspects include fatalities, number of search and rescue missions, dangerous animals, number of drownings, falls, and heat exhaustion deaths, and cell service coverage. The scores showed these ten parks as the most dangerous:

  1. North Cascades
  2. Lake Clark
  3. Denali
  4. Wrangell-St. Elias
  5. Isle Royale
  6. Gates of the Arctic
  7. Sequoia and Kings Canyon
  8. Grand Teton
  9. Yellowstone
  10. Glacier Bay

These parks have some common factors (besides several of them being in Alaska.) Many of them have extreme temperatures, remote areas that are hard to access by rescue teams, and high mountain peaks that should only be tackled by expert hikers. Some of the dangerous parks are the most famous and most visited. Don’t avoid a park just because it has some dangerous hikes, locations, or conditions. Rather, you should choose your activities carefully and arrive prepared with emergency plans, survival kits, and first aid materials. The best way to enjoy the parks safely is to know the risks, listen to ranger guidance about which trails to take at what times, and make sure you stick to hikes and activities that match your experience level.

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