Here’s a thing that many people don’t even know they should be thankful for: The Earth’s molten interior. Not all planets have that feature, and without it there’s a very good chance that we wouldn’t be here.
Firstly, all that magma swirling around under your feet helped created our atmosphere via outgassing.
Secondly, the movements caused by convection in the outer core are what most likely generates the Earth’s magnetic field, without which we would all be toast (massive DNA damage from cosmic rays, etc).
Thirdly, plate tectonics. We rarely realize that without them constantly modifying the surface of the Earth via drift and earthquakes, our planet would most likely be much smoother. As Bill Bryson says: “If the Earth were perfectly smooth, it would be covered everywhere with water to a depth of four kilometers. There might be life in that lonesome ocean, but there certainly wouldn’t be baseball.”
So the next time you look down, think about what’s below your feet and how it was one of the many things that helped you come into existence.
For more: Structure of the Earth
I know I’m a day late for the “thankful for” stuff, but my excuse is that I’m Canadian and Thanksgiving was last month.