"The world" is a proper noun for the planet Earth envisioned from an anthropocentric or human worldview, as a place inhabited by human beings and other terrestrial lifes. It is often used to signify the sum of human experience and history, or the 'human condition' in general. The world population is approximately 6.68 billion people.
'World' distinguishes the entire planet or population from any particular country or region: world affairs are those which pertain not just to one place but to the whole world, and world history is a field of history which examines events from a global (rather than a national or a regional) perspective. Earth, on the other hand, refers to the planet as a physical entity, and distinguishes it from other planets and physical objects.
Earth is the only place in the universe where life is known by humanity to exist at this time. Scientific evidence indicates that the planet formed 4.54 billion years ago, and life appeared on its surface within a billion years. Since then, Earth's biosphere has significantly altered the atmosphere and other abiotic conditions on the planet, enabling the proliferation of aerobic organisms as well as the formation of the ozone layer which, together with Earth's magnetic field, blocks harmful radiation, permitting life on land.
Earth's outer surface is divided into several rigid segments, or tectonic plates, that gradually migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. About 71% of the surface is covered with salt-water oceans, the remainder consisting of continents and islands; liquid water, necessary for all known life, is not known to exist on any other planet's surface. Earth's interior remains active, with a thick layer of relatively solid mantle, a liquid outer core that generates a magnetic field, and a solid iron inner core.
The earth consists of seven continents listed as follows: North America, South America, Antarctica, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia; the largest of which is Asia. There are several other methods of determining the continents.
Earth is impacted upon by other objects in outer space, including the Sun and the Moon. At present, Earth orbits the Sun once for every roughly 365.26 times it rotates about its axis. This length of time is a sidereal year, which is equal to 365.26 solar days. The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted 23.4° away from the perpendicular to its orbital plane, producing seasonal variations on the planet's surface with a period of one tropical year (365.24 solar days). Earth's only known natural satellite, the Moon, which began orbiting it about 4.53 billion years ago, provides ocean tides, stabilizes the axial tilt and gradually slows the planet's rotation. A cometary bombardment during the early history of the planet played a role in the formation of the oceans. Later, asteroid impacts caused significant changes to the surface environment.
Like most primates, humans are social by nature. However, humans are particularly adept at utilizing systems of communication for self-expression, the exchange of ideas, and organization. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families to nations. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of traditions, rituals, ethics, values, social norms, and laws which form the basis of human society. Humans have a marked appreciation for beauty and aesthetics which, combined with the human desire for self-expression, has led to cultural innovations such as art, literature and music.
Humans are noted for their desire to understand and influence the world around them, seeking to explain and manipulate natural phenomena through science, philosophy, mythology and religion. This natural curiosity has led to the development of advanced tools and skills; humans are the only extant species known to build fires, cook their food, clothe themselves, and use numerous other technologies.