The Lithosphere
Lithosphere is the solid part that forms the outermost shell of the earth. It is made up of rocks and thin layers of soil that sustain organisms. There are high mountain ranges, plains and plateaus and deep valleys that form the ocean floor. But, the level of water in the oceans remains the same everywhere. This level is referred to as the sea level. Mt. Everest is the highest mountain peak on the earth. New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay from Nepal were the first climbers to reach the peak of Mt. Everest in 1953. The Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean has the greatest depth found on the earth.The depth of the deepest point in the sea exceeds the height of the highest peak on the Earth. The sea level is considered to be zero. The elevation of land is then measured keeping the sea level as reference.   Almost two-third of the earth’s surface is occupied by huge water bodies that are connected to each other called oceans. The remaining one-third of the earth’s surface has large land masses called the continents. There are in all seven major continents. They are Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Australia and Antarctica. The earth is divided into four hemispheres: Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern. Most of the landmasses lie in the Northern Hemisphere while most of the Southern Hemisphere is occupied by water. The Northern Hemisphere is called the Land Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere is called the water hemisphere. Asia is the largest continent on the earth. It covers about one-third of the total land area of the earth. The world’s largest hot desert—the Sahara Desert is located on this continent! The world’s longest river—the Nile, also flows through Africa. Antarctica is permanently covered by thick sheets of ice and is known as the Frozen Continent. The first Indian expedition was sent to Antarctica in 1981.

#### Summary

Lithosphere is the solid part that forms the outermost shell of the earth. It is made up of rocks and thin layers of soil that sustain organisms. There are high mountain ranges, plains and plateaus and deep valleys that form the ocean floor. But, the level of water in the oceans remains the same everywhere. This level is referred to as the sea level. Mt. Everest is the highest mountain peak on the earth. New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay from Nepal were the first climbers to reach the peak of Mt. Everest in 1953. The Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean has the greatest depth found on the earth.The depth of the deepest point in the sea exceeds the height of the highest peak on the Earth. The sea level is considered to be zero. The elevation of land is then measured keeping the sea level as reference.   Almost two-third of the earth’s surface is occupied by huge water bodies that are connected to each other called oceans. The remaining one-third of the earth’s surface has large land masses called the continents. There are in all seven major continents. They are Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Australia and Antarctica. The earth is divided into four hemispheres: Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern. Most of the landmasses lie in the Northern Hemisphere while most of the Southern Hemisphere is occupied by water. The Northern Hemisphere is called the Land Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere is called the water hemisphere. Asia is the largest continent on the earth. It covers about one-third of the total land area of the earth. The world’s largest hot desert—the Sahara Desert is located on this continent! The world’s longest river—the Nile, also flows through Africa. Antarctica is permanently covered by thick sheets of ice and is known as the Frozen Continent. The first Indian expedition was sent to Antarctica in 1981.

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