December 12, 2013

Pacific Pilgrimage Facts

Washington State Nature

  • The most common birthday in the United States is October 5th.  An average of 12,576 people is born each year on October 5th.  Babies born on this date would have been conceived on New Year’s Eve.

  • In 1947, Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl and his 5 person crew sailed 4,300 miles of ocean from the western coast of South America to the islands east of Tahiti in a raft he called Kon-Tiki. Heyerdahl wanted to demonstrate that Polynesia could have been settled by ancient people from the Americas.

  • The Pacific Ocean was named in 1520 by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan. After harrowing passage through the straits at the southern tip of South America, the new found ocean was peaceful and thus named the Pacific Ocean meaning "peaceful sea".

  • The Pacific Ocean is by far the largest of the Earth's oceans and covers approximately 30% of the planet's surface.

  • The Sol Duc River measures around 65 miles (104.6 km) long, beginning in the Olympic Mountains and flowing west into the Pacific Ocean.

  • The Sol Duc River is considered one of Washington's most valuable river systems, supporting a wide variety of fish. It's a popular fishing destination, and many trails that following the river through the Olympic National Forest also make it popular for hiking.

  • Wood is a great material for building rafts because it is often has trapped air inside, making it less dense. The Archimedes Principal states that if an object weighs less than the amount of water it displaces, it will float.

  • The Sol Duc River has Class III white water rapids. Classifications range from I to VI, where "Class I" rivers have small waves and lots of room to maneuver and "Class VI" signifies extreme conditions that pose serious threats even to professionals.

  • Neanderthals [latin: Homo neanderthalensis] are hypothesized to have lived between 28,000 and 200,000 years ago and to be the closest extinct relative to modern humans.

  • The term "Neanderthal" was coined by geologist William King after the 1864 discovery of a fossil in Germany's Neander Valley.

  • Bald eagles in the Pacific Northwest typically nest around January and near water. They are opportunistic feeders, and fish is the largest component of their diet.

  • Bald eagles are long-lived birds with lives spanning around 25 years. Young eagles do not develop the classic "bald" look until they're around 5 years old.

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