Earth (Terra in Ancient, Midgard to the humans settled by the Asgard, Tau'ri in Goa'uld, and designated P2X-3YZ by the Tau'ri, this being the gate's network code), is the home planet of the Tau'ri and the cradle of human civilization in the Milky Way. With a population of over 7 billion, Earth was one of the most populated known human worlds in both the Pegasus and Milky way galaxies. This is due to a long period of isolation from any alien contact, as well as their success in thwarting various alien attacks thanks to the staff and personnel of Stargate Command who have also successfully stopped any attacks by various enemies including the Goa'uld, Replicators, Wraith, Ori and Lucian Alliance. (Stargate: Continuum, SGA: "Rising")
Earth was the second planet that the Ancients colonized after they left their home galaxy (the first planet being Dakara). Over 175 million years ago, they used a terraforming device to break the supercontinent Pangea apart so they could eventually colonize the planet. The device was left in later Antarctica. Known to them as Terra, it was the center of their empire in the Milky Way and was the place from which they launched Destiny, a ship designed to explore the universe. Earth was also home to the city of Atlantis situated in Antarctica which was then much closer to the equator. Between five and ten million years ago, the Ancients were forced to leave in Atlantis for Pegasus due to a plague, that was very similar to the Prior plague that was used by the Ori during the crusade. They eventually returned after the war with the Wraith where some chose to join the native humans and integrate into human society, passing on the Ancient Technology Activation gene. They also influenced societies such as the Greeks and Romans, inspiring the myth of Atlantis and passing on their language. (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2", "The Drift", "Avalon, Part 2", SGA: "Rising")
When the Ancients came back to Earth circa 8,000 BC, they found the humans in a primitive state of society and knowledge, and under control of the Goa'uld known as Ra. The Ancients then, seeing that there was no hope of rebuilding their societies, spread out to many lands (integrating into the primitive societies, ascending, making their way to the Stargate in the Southern Pole or dying, leaving the remaining humans in a primitive and defenseless state). Ra remained, controlling Earth until circa 3,000 BC, when an alternate SG-1 traveled back in time and helped the ancient humans to start the rebellion. After that, Ra abandoned the Earth. (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "Moebius, Part 1", "Moebius, Part 2", "The Pegasus Project")
Thanks to the rediscovery of the Stargate, the Tau'ri have come to find out that Humans live on other planets in addition to Earth, each with their own unique cultures. As the Stargate Program progressed, the term Tau'ri eventually came to be used to specifically identify humans from Earth. Earth has one of the largest human populations of any planet in the known galaxies, possibly the largest. Major General Henry Landry believed Earth to be the most densely populated planet in the Milky Way Galaxy. The flourishing population is often credited to Earth being disconnected from the Stargate network in the intervening time between Ra's departure and the Tau'ri discovery of the gate in 1928, in addition to its existence either remaining unknown by Goa'uld aside from Ra, or simply passing from their knowledge. (Stargate)
In 2004, Earth became the focus of the System Lord Anubis. In what became known as the Battle of Antarctica, Anubis came with his mothership and a massive fleet of Ha'taks, which were destroyed by Drone weapons launched by SG-1 from the Ancient outpost in Antarctica, Anubis was left without a physical form in orbit. (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
In 2009, Earth came under attack from the super-hive. After waiting behind the Moon for its systems to mature, the ship moved into Earth's orbit and sent out a wave of Wraith Darts that was able to destroy the Control chair, one of Earth's greatest defenses. All other Earth attempts to defend against the upgraded Hive Ship also failed. However, Atlantis utilized its Wormhole drive and was able to confront the Hive Ship, and through the work of Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team was able to detonate a Nuclear warhead on board the ship. After the battle, Atlantis remained on Earth in San Francisco Bay. Atlantis spent six months on Earth with the IOA attempting to claim Atlantis for itself which would effectively make the IOA Earth's first interplanetary government. After some shrewd political maneuvering by General Jack O'Neill, Richard Woolsey and Colonel Samantha Carter, Atlantis was allowed to leave Earth and return to the Pegasus galaxy. (SGA: "Enemy at the Gate", "Legacy: Homecoming")
In 2010, Earth was again the target of an attack by the Lucian Alliance. The Alliance personnel kept aboard the Ancient vessel Destiny complied with Homeworld Command and divulged as much information as they could regarding the attack, however it proved to be insufficient. The Alliance outfitted a Goa'uld Tel'tak with a naquadriah-enhanced bomb and flew it cloaked into The Pentagon as a surgical strike against the Tau'ri. The effort was ultimately thwarted by MSgt. Ronald Greer and Camile Wray with the help of Dr. Andrew Covel and Senator Michaels and Varro. (SGU: "Alliances")
Earth societies are greatly divided by various factors including governments, religion, economics, and contrasting ideological factors. While some cultures experience extreme wealth and the quality of life associated with it, many others live in abject poverty with questionable access to even basic survival necessities. Some nations and people groups are governed democratically, socially, or communally, but some are ruled by tyranny or autocracy. While there is often a broad level of economic and political cooperation amongst nations (especially facilitated by the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization), there is also a great deal of geopolitical conflict often characterized by the "West", or nations making up Western Europe and the Americas, and the "East", or nations making up Eastern Europe and Asia.
While coalitions of governments, such as the United Nations, often try to maintain peace and continuity around the planet, they are often ineffective to that end and wide varieties of crimes continue to be perpetrated throughout the globe.
Many of Earth's societies have historically had encounters with Goa'uld, Asgard and even Ancients at times in the distant past, leading to the folk religions that were pervasive for several thousand years in human culture. Even today, Norse mythology (influenced by the Asgard), Egyptian mythology (influenced by the Goa'uld), as well as Greek, Roman and British mythology and philosophy (influenced by both the Goa'uld and Ancients) continue to be studied today by scholars around the world. Although the true nature and sources of these mythologies remains unknown to anyone outside of the Stargate program.
It is speculated that after the Ancient's returned from their long disappearance to Pegasus, they found the Earth they left behind now under the domain of a second evolution of humanity. Thus, rather than choosing to take dominion over Earth again, they instead opted to either assimilate into the existing cultures (which is believed to be what lead to the establishment of Greco-Roman culture and also the presence of the Ancient Technology Activation gene in modern humans) or go into exile and seek ascension.
The combined Earth military is divided between roughly 190 independent governments, most of which are not privy to the knowledge of life beyond the stars. Only five countries possess interstellar military capability. Thanks to its long period of isolation, Earth has managed to develop beyond the pre-enlightenment period most societies are forced into by either the Wraith or Goa'uld. Earth is still primitive in comparison to some alien cultures but possesses technology arguably more advanced than any other in existence, particularly militarily. Tau'ri military technology relies on metallic projectile weapons, chemical explosives, and short to intercontinental ballistic and nuclear missiles. The more powerful Tau'ri nations possess Nuclear warheads.
The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have access to an array of extraterrestrial technology and weapons. These nations have reverse-engineered various starship and weapons designs, particularly those of the Asgard and the Ancients. The United States of America in particular has risen in little more than a decade from a planetary-based power to an intergalactic power, with several capital ships and off-world bases.
While many planets explored by the Tau'ri may have rather monolithic topography and climates, Earth possesses a plurality of both. Each continent contains wide range of ecosystems with various topographical features as well as flora and fauna that populate them. The planet's surface is approximately 71% water, and the other 29% making up the landmasses of Earth's seven continents. Throughout the planet, almost every landmass contains some combination of mountains, forests, deserts, plains, tundra, and valleys, with Antarctica being somewhat of an outlier as a rather uniform continent with polar features.
Rough estimates suggest there are around 1.2 million different animal species, and over 300,000 plant species on Earth. Though estimates for animal species have also ranged from 2 million to as high as 50 million, with approximately 10,000 new species discovered each year. Humans are the dominant species on the planet numbering around 7.1 billion. While many species of insects may outnumber them, humans are undoubtedly the apex species on Earth.
Earth possesses a varied climate depending on the geography and atmospheric properties of a region, across each continent may be a range of climates from polar to desert and everything in between.
- Main article: Locations on Earth
- In an alternate reality visited by Daniel Jackson in 1998, Earth was attacked by Apophis and most major cities were destroyed. Efforts to combat the invasion were headed in Cheyenne Mountain by the SGA. Dr. Samantha Carter stated that Washington D.C. and Philadelphia had been lost. Cities that, based on the SGA's map, were almost certainly destroyed include the following: Cairo, Berlin, Rome, Helsinki, London, Moscow, New York City, Paris and Dublin. Colorado Springs was presumably destroyed during the attack on Cheyenne Mountain. The Goa'uld attack started in Europe, Asia and Africa before spreading to the United States of America. Since the destruction started on the East Coast and moved west and Dr. Daniel Jackson left the reality when it reached Colorado, the annihilation of the West Coast was unseen. (SG1: "There But for the Grace of God")
- In another alternate reality, Earth was attacked by Apophis and the SGA was invaded in 1999. The planet was saved when Doctor Samantha Carter successfully contacted the Asgard. (SG1: "Point of View")
- In another alternate reality, Earth was vulnerable to an Ori attack as its only Zero Point Module had been depleted. In 2006, the SG-1 of this reality came to our reality in an attempt to steal a ZPM from Atlantis and return it to their reality to use in securing their Earth from an attack. When the original SG-1 took steps to stop additional SG-1s from arriving, the alternate SG-1 gained control of the Prometheus and set course for Atlantis. Eventually, the original Cameron Mitchell outsmarted his counterpart and his team was captured. The original SG-1 was able to use the alternate SG-1's methods to send the various SG-1s back to their own realities. (SG1: "Ripple Effect")
- In another alternate reality, Earth was attacked by the Prior virus in late 2005, at approximately the same time that the Earth of our reality suffered the same attack. However, the outbreak lasted longer than in our reality. SG-1 - which consisted of Daniel Jackson, Cameron Mitchell, Janet Fraiser and Martouf/Lantash - began searching the galaxy for a cure, as did the other SG teams. In the process of their search, this version of SG-1 were accidentally transported to our reality, where they were given the cure by Major General Henry Landry of our reality. In this reality, Stargate Command was still under the command of Brigadier General Jack O'Neill. (SG1: "Ripple Effect")
- In another alternate reality visited by Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter in 2007, Earth was attacked by Anubis' fleet in 2004, as occurred in our reality. Although they found the Control chair from the Antarctic outpost, they could not power it sufficiently to use it against Anubis' fleet and the attack continued. This forced Stargate Command to reveal the existence of Stargate Program to the general public, creating mass panic and leading to martial law being declared in the United States of America as a result. The SGC of this reality never discovered Atlantis but they did make an enemy of the Ori, which led to the planet coming under attack in 2007. However, it was saved by the Samantha Carter of our reality. This was achieved by using the United States' power grid, the Ancient Control chair from the Antarctic outpost and Arthur's Mantle to take the planet out of phase. (SG1: "The Road Not Taken")
- In another alternate reality, Earth came under attack by a Hive Ship in 2009 but it was destroyed by the Antarctic outpost. A single Wraith survived and was later killed, but not before sending a message that was picked up by the Super-hive in our universe, telling it the location of Earth and about the weapons chair. (SGA: "Vegas")
- In an alternate timeline where SG-1 never returned from a mission resulting in the NID's rogue operation not being exposed, Earth is abandoned by her allies. As a result, it is no longer protected by the Protected Planets Treaty and suffers a devastating attack by Apophis. Most of the survivors relocate to an Alpha Site set up by the NID while the rest live in squalor on the devastated planet. Furthermore, the Wraith eventually arrive in the Milky Way using Atlantis and Earth becomes the battleground between the Wraith and the Goa'uld. After the return of SG-1 in 2098, the Earth is finally liberated when the Goa'uld System Lord Hecate is killed in battle above the planet and the Wraith agree to return to the Pegasus Galaxy. The Arbellans help the Tau'ri rebuild the planet and a year later, Atlantis is used to return the Wraith to Pegasus. Before leaving, Colonel Jack O'Neill uses Atlantis to broadcast a message to the peoples of the Milky Way Galaxy that Earth is back and open for business, calling for trade, friendship and support. O'Neill states that while Earth is prepared to stand on its own if need be, the people of the planet would rather stand together as friends and allies. (Stargate SG-1: Apocalypse)
- In an alternate timeline where the Tau'ri made an alliance with the Aschen, Earth was a technologically advanced planet well connected to the galaxy. However, due to an Aschen plot to conquer the planet, 90% of the population had been rendered sterile. All of Earth's militaries were also under Aschen control. (SG1: "2010")
- In an alternate timeline, the Aschen managed to use a treaty with the Pack to infect the Tau'ri with a bioweapon. After instantly rendering 98% of the human population sterile upon becoming active, the virus mutated and jumped species into Earth's plants and animals. Within thirty years, the Earth was left a barren wasteland with only cockroaches and a few species of birds that were naturally immune to the virus remaining. All other life on Earth, including trees, were dead by 2032. (SG1: "Relativity")
- In an alternate timeline accidentally created by SG-1, Apophis sent a fleet of Ha'taks to attack Earth in 2005 after a team from the Tau'ri travelled to Chulak and were captured by his Jaffa. He learned that the Tau'ri were a potential threat after implanting Daniel Jackson with a Goa'uld symbiote. (SG1: "Moebius, Part 2")
- In another alternate timeline created by Ba'al in 1939, Earth was attacked by a Goa'uld fleet in 2009. (Stargate: Continuum)
Behind the scenes
- While never given a planetary designation during any of the on-screen material, in the Secret Files of the SGC bonus features on the Stargate SG-1 DVDs (in which the viewer is said to be watching top secret SGC files), Earth is identified as P2X-3YZ.
- Point of Origin on Earth's Beta Gate
- Point of origin on the Stargate aboard Klorel's Ha'tak during its attack on Earth in Within the Serpent's Grasp
- Point of origin on Atlantis' Stargate, which was on Earth in Enemy at the Gate
- Lost City, Part 2
- Secret Files of the SGC