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Environment Trivia

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Tornadoes seem to be an almost-exclusive North American phenomena they occur more often in the United States than anywhere else in the world.

The average hailstorm lasts about 15 minutes.

Traces of copper give the gemstone turquoise its distinctive color.

The average hurricane generates energy roughly equivalent to 400 20-megaton bombs exploding in one day the equivalent of all the electrical energy used in the United States for six months.

Twenty percent of China's plants are used in medicine.

The average life expectancy of a white ash tree is 275 years.

Twenty thousand plants are listed by the World Health Organization as being used for therapeutic purposes.

The average mature oak tree sheds approximately 700,000 leaves in the fall.

Twenty-four-karat gold is not pure gold; there is a small amount of copper in it. Absolutely pure gold is so soft that it can be molded with the hands.

The average pollen particle is less than the width of a human hair. Pollens can remain on your skin and hair for hours after spending time outdoors. Pollens can travel as far as 400 miles and up to two miles high in the air.

Use of less fertilizer at precisely the right times can cut costs by up to 17 percent for farmers in developing countries, and reduce damage to the environment.

The average rainfall around the world is 40 inches per year.

Variations in color in pearls are still a mystery, but some experts believe that high water temperatures contribute a golden cast to some pearls.

The average speed of an avalanche is 22 miles per hour.

The banana and the Bird-of-Paradise flower are in the same family.

The banana cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man.

Venezuela's Angel Falls are a mile high. They were originally discovered from an airplane.

Virga are streaks of water drops or ice particles falling out of a cloud and evaporating before reaching the ground.

Waste industry experts estimate that Americans discard 250 million tires each year, and that more than 3 billion are stored in landfills or litter backyards and "wildcat" dumps. Tires burning at landfills generate huge amounts of noxious air pollution. This problem first came to national attention when hundreds of thousands of tires at an East Coast landfill in the United States burned for three years during the 1980s. Tire fires are difficult, and sometimes impossible, to extinguish.

The baobab tree of Australia has a short, fat trunk that develops into a shape that is an almost perfect replica of a bottle. It is known throughout Australia as the "bottle tree."

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