Hi friends, today let us learn about this enormous single landmass we call Pangaea and answer a drifting question about how continents were formed so what is Pangaea well the earth we see today didn’t appear to look like this over 240 million years ago as it didn’t have seven continents.
But instead, one giant supercontinent called Pangaea meaning all lands which were surrounded by a single ocean called Panthalassa yes my dear friends all the countries lived harmoniously with each other until a great breakup began to happen which is known as continental drift.
As the continents slowly drifted to their current positions on the earth’s surface this theory was proposed by a scientist named Alfred Wegener in the year 1912 as he explained the similarities between the continents he showed us how South American and African contain fossils of animals like megalosaurus.
In areas that match up across the ocean, he further explained that it is physically impossible for these reptiles to swim across the Atlantic ocean thus we can say that these animals lived within the rivers and lakes of a Single giant habitat that later broke apart he also showed how the ancient rocks on the Brazilian coast also matched.
Those found in West Africa and also explained the presence of similar plants in different continents but the scientific community was not entirely convinced by weak evidence due to lack of a mechanism for how it works so later the theory of continental drift was replaced by the science of plate tectonics.
But the massive question is what are these plate tectonics and what causes the continents to drift apart well for that we need to look below our feet deep inside the earth’s surface at the deepest layer of the planet known as the core where it’s as hot as the surface of the burning sun.
This center of the earth is surrounded by the mantle which is covered by the crust the surface at which we live however the ground below you or the crust is not a single solid land and is broken into many pieces like a jigsaw puzzle we call tectonic plates and you won’t believe but the crust is continuously moving or traveling across the earth at the rate of about 10 centimeters per year in the process called plate tectonics.
This motion occurs on the top two layers of the earth the lithosphere and the asthenosphere the speed of movement on which these tectonic plates move is influenced by the temperature and pressure of the asthenosphere below although the scientific community is still trying to figure out the driving.
The force behind this movement but what we surely know is these tectonic plates move in different ways and the point at which they meet or interact is called boundaries that have created the world what we know today is how let me explain the first type of interaction is Convergent boundaries.
In this process the plates move towards each other and when they Collide the land is pushed upward to form massive mountains the second type of interaction is called the divergent boundary in which two plates move apart in this process the space between the two plates widens and becomes a massive rift such as mid-Atlantic ridge between South America and Africa.
Finally, the third interaction is called transform boundaries in which the earth’s plates slide past each other in opposite directions this grinding of the transform boundaries can create pressure that could lead to many earthquakes like what happens on the san Andreas fault.
Friends, now we know how the ground below us moves and will continue to change the world around us forming mountains islands volcanoes and who knows a new continent to trip your time did you know the Himalayan mountains. Including mount Everest was formed by the convergent boundary of the Indian plate and the Eurasian plate.
Yes, you won’t believe but these plates are still colliding with each other which is why mount Everest grows at one centimeter per year hope you learned something new today