The Planet Earth
This article deals with The Planet Earth as it relates to NationStates. For more general information, see the Wikipedia article on this subject.
The Planet Earth, also known as Terra, is the third planet from the star Sol. Home to tens of thousands of nations and several trillion sentients, earth is considered a fairly odd object, with its mass, size, and density ratio either defying the most basic laws of physics or simply being uncertain yet still being livable. Conditions on Earth depend on location; some areas are irradiated wastelands (like Tsaraine was) while others are verdant paradises (such as Menelmacar) while still others are industrial slagheaps (such as Melkor Unchained).The climate of Earth varies every bit as much as the state of its environmental health from the frozen poles to the tropical equator. Earth is, in most views, mostly water with its oceans largely, though not entirely, uninhabited by sentient life. Earth's dry land also includes a wide variety of geographical features, great mountain ranges, deserts, forests, jungles, plains, and countless other landscapes.
Renowned for constant violence raging over vast areas of its surface, and featuring a Fractal History with thousands of timelines merging, it is certainly one of the more interesting astronomical objects known.
Theories of NationStates Earth
Because of the oddity of NationStates Earth, there are two dominant theories concerning its very nature. They are not mutually exclusive, as the first includes the second; however, neither one seems to perfectly describe the situation (possibly because the second view is held).
Proponents of the Fractal reality theory believe that, on a basic level, the Earth is still as it always was--same radius, same gravity, same density, same gross characteristics. However, it is now an object that exists in more than four dimensions. Consider--the entire RL Earth has been claimed multiple times over and yet there are not conflicts concerning this. There are entire archipelagos and continents such as Lodoss and Arda which appear on some maps but not others. Reality, as it is generally understood, is broken and has been ever since whatever point in a nation's history it emerged into the Multiverse (The Break). Reality is largely defined by perception, which accounts for nations appearing and disappearing like quantum foam for reasons not immediately explainable and for IGNORE phenomenon.
It's Just Really Huge
The second (and far simpler) theory is that Earth is just extremely huge; the size given is generally equivalent to Jupiter. Beyond that, all world parameters are approximately the same. The problem with this theory is that both ICBMs and conventional aircraft cannot get from one side of the planet to another in any reasonable time, and yet they do. Proponents of Fractal reality theory claim this as evidence and also claim that if one percieves Earth to be really huge, then it is.
A corollary to the "Just Really Huge" theory suggests that the Earth can de facto shrink and expand within reasonable limits, so that the Earth "shrinks" so that a plane that could fly from the RL New York to RL London could fly to and from NS New York and London, then "expand" when going to a fictional NS location in the Atlantic, for example.
History and Geography
There is no objective unified history of Earth at this point, and there probably never will be. For the same reason, there can no longer be an objective geography of Earth either. Mapping the entire Earth, which causes severe madness with conflicting claims and strenous arguments and idiocy, is not advised.
However the madness caused by the number of nations does not deter some nations from attempting to create multiple versions of Earth. This has caused numerous boundary and claims disputes and created offshoots, Earth II, III, IV, V, and even X. Proponents of the Fractal Earth theory claim this "Earth N+1 Effect" to be additional evidence of their cosmology.