December 30, 2011

Pangaea, Earth Crust Displacement and Continental Drifts

Cartography has been around for a very long time, with the oldest map ever recovered dating way back to about fourteen thousand years ago.. And who knows what we haven’t found or what didn’t survive. There are so many different kinds of maps that already exist and as the years pass we keep adding more to the list.

Here’s a few of the types that I view as important and/or interesting:

-Retrospective Maps
-Prophetic Maps [See: The Futurist Map's Of America & The World]
-Historically Significant Maps
-Topographic Maps
-Physical Maps & Climate Maps

Pangaea was first documented in 1596 by Dutch map maker Abraham Ortelius, but not really considered until 1912 when German meteorologist Alfred Lothar Wegener introduced his theory called Continental drift. Wegener coined the name Pangaea but there had already been retrospective maps created that depicted Pangaea including one drawn by Antonio Snider-Pellegrini in 1858.

Pangaea is Depicted as looking like this:

Alfred Lothar Wegener’s theory of Continental Drift proposed that all of Earth’s continents were once a single area of land mass that made up the supercontinent Pangaea. Wegener theorized that over the last 250 million years the earth continents were pulled apart and moved to their current locations. He could not however, figure out what exactly could have enough force to move such large things such far distances. It wasn’t until the 1950s & 60s that the theory was accepted by the scientific community with the development of the concepts of seafloor spreading. This is Pangaea’s movement in small increments.

The theory of Continental Drift is now widely accepted and we now know each continent moves a couple centimeters each year. There are still those who debate whether Pangaea existed or not, but there is quite a decent amount of evidence supporting it.

Some of the Evidence includes:
-Continental Coastlines Appear to fit like a Puzzle
-Matching fossils of Plants and Reptiles on Different Continents
- Distinctive Rock Strata shared by two Land Masses
-Antarctic Coal Distribution

Pangaea wasn’t the only supercontinent either- as supercontinents are formed in cycles with the new one being formed from the previously broken ones pieces colliding with each other. Before Pangaea was Pannotia, before Pannotia was Rodinia, before Rodinia was Columbia, before Columbia was Kenorland, before Kenorland was Ur, and before Ur was Vaalbara. Supercontinent cycles are estimated to last between 300-500 million years, and with the formation of Pangaea taking place around 300 million years ago one can only speculate if we are overdue for another collision or still have some time left.

Charles Hapgood was the first person to hypothesize that the earth’s crust could move very quickly, a theory he called earth’s crust displacement. Hapgood suggested that the weight of the ice on the poles could be enough to shift the axis. Hapgood brought his work to Einstein who was excited about the idea but disagreed that the weight of the ice could cause such things to happen. Einstein supported the idea that the earth’s crust could move suddenly even though Hapgood had not sufficiently explained what could cause such movements, and he even wrote the forward to Hapgood’s Earth’s Shifting Crust.

So basically this might happen to you on a future vacation.

Earth Crust Displacement theory still hasn’t been accepted by the scientific community. There is some supporting evidence that extreme temperature changes have taken place over portions of the earth but whether or not the cause is extreme storms or sudden changes in positioning of the continent is unknown.

Either way we'd be fucked.

So if North American decides it wants to combine with Russia and crush Japan, don’t be surprised. And if you happen to survive, it’s gonna be a whole new world. Filled with Cannibals and crazies, a world where personal hygiene consists of covering yourself in mud and brushing your teeth with a leaf, a world where morals do not exist, and free will is restored to its original meaning. If it does happen, I for one am looking forward to loin cloths and coconuts, and perfecting my skills as an archer.

xoxo disaster girl

P.F.S. Links for the Curious
Cataclysmic Pole Shift Hypothesis Wiki
Plate Tectonics Theory Wiki
Charles Hapgood Wiki
Charles Hapgood’s Earths Shifting Crust
Rand Flem Ath 2 HR Radio Interview

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