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Land, sometimes referred to as dry land, is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently covered by water.[1] The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture, habitat, and various natural resources. Some life forms (including terrestrial plants and terrestrial animals) have developed from predecessor species that lived in bodies of water.

Areas where land meets large bodies of water are called coastal zones. The division between land and water is a fundamental concept to humans. The demarcation line between land and water can vary by local jurisdiction and other factors. A maritime boundary is one example of a political demarcation. A variety of natural boundaries exist to help clearly define where water meets land. Solid rock landforms are easier to demarcate than marshy or swampy boundaries, where there is no clear point at which the land ends and a body of water has begun. Demarcation lines can further vary due to tides and weather.

In reference to business terminology land is also associated with Factor of production, as well as land is the first factor of production and the income or profit earned with help of land is treated as rent.

Imago Mundi Babylonian map, the oldest known world map, 6th century BC Babylonia.

In early Egyptian[28] and Mesopotamian thought, the world was portrayed as a flat disk floating in the ocean. The Egyptian universe was pictured as a rectangular box with a north-south orientation and with a slightly concave surface, with Egypt in the center. A similar model is found in the Homeric account of the 8th century BC in which "Okeanos, the personified body of water surrounding the circular surface of the Earth, is the begetter of all life and possibly of all gods."[29] The biblical earth is a flat disc floating on water.[30]

The Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts reveal that the ancient Egyptians believed Nun (the ocean) was a circular body surrounding nbwt (a term meaning "dry lands" or "islands"), and therefore believed in a similar Ancient Near Eastern circular Earth cosmography surrounded by water.[31][32][33]

The spherical form of the Earth was suggested by early Greek philosophers, a belief espoused by Pythagoras. Contrary to popular beli

In the past, there were varying levels of belief in a flat Earth. The Jewish conception of a flat earth is found in both biblical and post-biblical times.[note 1][neutrality is disputed][note 2][neutrality is disputed]

In early Egyptian[28] and Mesopotamian thought, the world was portrayed as a flat disk floating in the ocean. The Egyptian universe was pictured as a rectangular box with a north-south orientation and with a slightly concave surface, with Egypt in the center. A similar model is found in the Homeric account of the 8th century BC in which "Okeanos, the personified body of water surrounding the circular surface of the Earth, is the begetter of all life and possibly of all gods."[29] The biblical earth is a flat disc floating on water.[30]

The Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts reveal that the ancient Egyptians believed Nun (the ocean) was a circular body surrounding nbwt (a term meaning "dry lands" or "islands"), and therefore believed in a similar Ancient Near Eastern circular Earth cosmography surrounded by water.[31][32][33]

The spherical form of the Earth was suggested by early Greek philosophers, a belief espoused by Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts reveal that the ancient Egyptians believed Nun (the ocean) was a circular body surrounding nbwt (a term meaning "dry lands" or "islands"), and therefore believed in a similar Ancient Near Eastern circular Earth cosmography surrounded by water.[31][32][33]

The spherical form of the Earth was suggested by early Greek philosophers, a belief espoused by Pythagoras. Contrary to popular belief, most people in the Middle Ages did not believe the Earth was flat: this misconception is often called the "Myth of the Flat Earth". As evidenced by thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas, the European belief in a spherical Earth was widespread by this point in time.[34] Prior to circumnavigation of the planet and the introduction of space flight, belief in a spherical Earth was based on observations of the secondary effects of the Earth's shape and parallels drawn with the shape of other planets.[35]

Most planets known to humans are either gaseous Jovian planets or solid terrestrial planets. Terrestrial planets include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. These inner planets have a rocky surface with metal interiors.[36] The Jovian planets consist of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. While these planets are larger, their only land surface is a small rocky core surrounded by a large, thick atmosphere.[37] The gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn, are thought to have surface layers composed of liquid hydrogen rather than solid land; however, their planetary geology is not well understood. The possibility of Uranus and Neptune (the ice giants) possessing hot, highly compressed, supercritical water under their thick atmospheres has been hypothesised. While their composition is still not fully understood, a 2006 study by Wiktorowicz et al. ruled out the possibility of such a water "ocean" existing on Neptune,[38] though some studies have suggested that exotic oceans of liquid diamond are possible.[39] The entire surface of a rocky planet or moon is considered land, even with a lack of seas or oceans for contrast. Planetary bodies that have a thin atmosphere often have land that is marked by impact craters since atmospheric conditions would normally break-down incoming objects and erode rough impact sites.[40] Land on planetary bodies other than Earth can also be bought and sold although ownership of extraterrestrial real estate is not recognized by any authority.[41]

Land and climate

The land of

The land of the Earth interacts with and influences climate heavily since the surface of the land heats up and cools down faster than air or water.[42] Latitude, elevation, topography, reflectivity, and land use all have varying effects. The latitude of the land will influence how much solar radiation reaches the surface. High latitudes receive less solar radiation than low latitudes.[42] The height of the land is important in creating and transforming airflow and precipitation on Earth. Large landforms, such as mountain ranges, divert wind energy and make the air parcel less dense and able to hold less heat.[42] As air rises, this cooling effect causes condensation and precipitation.

Reflectivity of the earth is called planetary albedo and the type of land cover that receives energy from the sun affects the amount of energy that is reflected or transferred to Earth.albedo and the type of land cover that receives energy from the sun affects the amount of energy that is reflected or transferred to Earth.[43] Vegetation has a relatively low albedo meaning that vegetated surfaces are good absorbers of the sun's energy. Forests have an albedo of 10–15% while grasslands have an albedo of 15–20%. In comparison, sandy deserts have an albedo of 25–40%.[43]

Land use by humans also plays a role in the regional and global climate. Densely populated cities are warmer and create urban heat islands that have effects on the precipitation, cloud cover, and temperature of the region.[42]