Why is "the" being omitted before "earth"? Can I say "on the earth" instead of "on earth" here?
This is a really good question. Think of it like this "The Earth" is the planet, the physical object in space. "Earth" is usually used to talk about all the things that are on the the planet. This can be the people, animal, plants, environment, culture etc. Ex: He's the best footballer on Earth. This sentence really just means he's better than all the other footballers in the world. Ex: He's the best footballer on the Earth. This sentence gives a kind of physical image, of a person standing on the Earth, and most people would prefer the former because you're really talking about humans, rather than the physical planet. So if you were to change the sentence to "on the earth" here it would be a little strange.
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