Did you know that six people in the world are more than 114 years old?
According to a story by USA Today (a very popular newspaper), six people were born in the 1800s and are still alive. Most of you who read this blog were born in the 2000s. That means the women featured in the story are more than 100 years older than you. (Click to read the article.)
Anyone who has lived in three different centuries should be older than dirt, and they just might be. You, on the other hand, are probably only as old as soil.
So, what’s the difference between dirt and soil? The following answers come from Popular Science, Discovery Education, A Microherder’s Manifesto and Science News. I combined their explanations to make it easier to understand.
- Dirt is dead. It is made up of clay, sand and silt. Which basically means it is composed of crushed up rocks of different sizes.
- Soil is dirt, plus living material like bacteria and decaying plants.
- Soil is only about a foot deep: dirt goes all the way down to the bedrock.
So, how is dirt made? Dirt happens when natural forces break down rock. Glaciers, earthquakes, rainfall and wind all play a part in crushing rock into smaller and smaller bits. When these bits get mixed with elephant pooh, rotting leaves and living organisms, dirt becomes soil.
In this way, soil is much fresher than dirt, and takes less time to make. But, it is impossible to have soil without dirt. In human terms, without the experiences of people way older than us (dirt), we wouldn’t be around today (soil).
People need other people. And even though old people can be scary, we should talk to them and learn about their lives. Sharing life stories makes our lives a much richer and fresher kind of soil.
My great aunt was raised in a cave. Because of this, she taught everyone around her to love nature and live off the land…er, soil. She lived to be 94 years old.
Who is the oldest person you know? What kinds of cool things happened in his/her life? How has that impacted you?
Curious minds want to know.