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the Continents the Globe

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THE GLOBE, THE CONTINENTS, THE OCEANS, THE HEMISPHERES 24. The earth is round.—The ant on top of the big balloon was sure that the balloon was flat, much flatter than the garden where he lived. But men could easily see that it was round. The earth looks flat to us just as the balloon looked flat to the ant. But the earth is round, rounder even than a balloon. It is, indeed, almost a perfect ball or sphere. Look at an apple or a ball through a tiny hole in a piece of paper held close to it, and you will see that a tiny part of even so small a round thing looks flat. The ant could see so little of the balloon that it looked flat to him. We can see so little of the world at any one place that for a long time men thought the earth was flat.

There are several ways to prove that the earth is not flat. One proof is the fact that men have traveled entirely around it. An ant or a fly on an apple, by going straight ahead, can walk around the apple and thus come back to the place from which he started. In the same way, people often go around the world. It is a long journey, especially if you travel on a line around the middle of the earth, where it is twenty five thousand miles around. If you set out to walk around the earth and walked at the rate of ten miles a day, it would take you nearly seven years; but an air plane, going one hundred miles an hour, would go around in less than eleven days.

If we could look at the earth from the moon, it would look as round as the full way as a man's land is separated from his neighbor's land. Did you ever see the corner stones between two lots of land? You can surely find, by this time, on the map of North America (Fig. 51) the big island of Newfoundland where the cod fishermen live, and the island of Cuba where some of the dried codfish are sold, and the cold ocean where the Eskimos, hunting for seals, paddle around among the ice cakes in their kayaks.

moon. (Fig. 31.) At the seashore we can see with our own eyes that the world is not flat. As a ship sails away from the land we see at first the whole ship. Then it seems to sink out of sight, till at last we see only the tops of the masts or sails, or the smoke from its smokestack. As a ship comes in, on the other hand, it grad ually rises into sight over the curve of the sea (or earth), until at last, as it comes nearer, we see the hull or body of the ship. This is much like two ants peeping at each other over the top of a baseball. (Fig. 30.) Each sees the other's head first, while the curving sur face of the ball still hides their feet.

25. The round map or best map of a round world is made on a ball, because a ball is round like the world.

Such a round map we call a globe. On it we mark off the land regions and the water regions of the earth's surface. Only one-fourth of the whole surface of the earth is land.

The rest of it is water—the great sea, with land sticking up out of it here and there.

The parts of the sea which are divided from each other by the land are called oceans.

If you look at a globe or map of the world (Fig. 40), you will see that all the oceans are connected. Thus ships can sail from ocean to ocean, and go all the way around the world, as they often do. You will also see that the land is divided into many, many parts. Some of these parts, or bodies of land, are large, and some are small. The smaller parts are called islands. Nobody knows how many thousands of islands there are in the world. They have never been counted.

No map can show them all. Some islands are bare rocks only, no bigger than a table. Some are large enough to have a few trees on them. It would take you only an hour to walk around some islands. Others are so large that you could walk for days and weeks and not come to the end of them.

Then there are the largest parts of land, which we call continents. Pick out these largest bodies, or continents, on a globe or on the maps. (Figs. 31, 35, and 36.) The continents are North Amer ica, where we live, South America, Europe, Asia, Afri ca, and Australia. (Fig. 45.) The continents divide the oceans from one another, and sailors long ago gave differ ent names to different oceans, or parts of the great sea. Find them—Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Antarctic Ocean. (Fig. 40.) Which is nearest to your home? (Fig. 64.) 26 The earth turns earth is spinning around and around all the time. We do not notice the turning motion because everything we see is moving with us. We are like the fly in a wagon which does not know that it is moving. Tie a string around the stem of an apple, or put a ball on a string as the girl is doing in Fig. 34. Perhaps a basket ball or a pump kin can be used. Hold the round object up by the string and spin it. The earth turns around like this once every day. That is why we have night and day. You will understand this if you hold the spin ning object up to a lamp or a bright window and let it spin on the string. Do you see that one side is always in the light and the other side is in the shadow? It is the same with the earth, or world. It is in such a position that the sun always shines on one side of it. The part of the earth that is turned toward the sun has light. This makes day. The part that is turned away is in the shadow. This makes night. (See Fig. 35.) We say the sun "rises" in the east and "sets" in the west, but we know it is the earth, not the sun, that does the moving. In the morning, when the sun seems to be coming up over the edge of the world in the direction of the east, we see it because our particular spot on the earth's surface has turned far enough toward the east so that the sun's light can shine on it. People began saying "sunrise" and "sunset" long, long ago, when even the wisest of men thought the sun did swing around the earth, very much as a ball on a string swings around a boy's hand.

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