The Whole Saga of the Supercontinents

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  • Published on:  Monday, February 12, 2018
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    The study of natural history is the study of how the world has changed but Earth itself is in a constant state of flux -- because the ground beneath your feet is always moving. So if we want to know how we got here, we have to understand how "here" got here.

    Thanks to Nathan E. Rogers, Julio Lacerda, Franz Anthony and Studio 252mya for their illustrations. You can find more of their work here:

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

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    References: → Hess’s first paper proposing seafloor spreading → Vine and Matthews’s first description of mirrored magnetic anomalies → Class notes from Stephen Nelson @ Tulane on the history of discovery and mechanisms of plate tectonics → Additional rundown on the mechanisms of plate tectonics → Biography of Marie Tharp → review article of pre-pangaean continents
    doi:10.1038/ngeo1069 → Paper linking the P-Tr extinction to Siberian Traps volcanism lighting coal on fire → Very solid reconstructions of Rodinia and Pannotia → review of the potential and probable causes of the PTr extinction, as well as some discussion linking the TrJ extinction to the rifting of North America away from Pangaea → TrJ extinction linked with North American rifting → Future continents → Basic animation of continental movements → Animation of Pangaea Ultima (although video called it Pangaea Proxima for some reason)
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  • Bob LowblawLawBlog

    Bob LowblawLawBlog

     16 hours ago

    How do you think humans will evolve to become in the future?

  • Oxe! Yoshi!

    Oxe! Yoshi!


    When the continents are all together and subduction is no longer possible, what happens to the mid ocean ridges? And do new subduction zones create themselves near the continental shelves?

  • David M

    David M


    What I find interesting is that this will continue until the core cools sufficiently for tectonics to grind to a halt.
    Of course, we'll be gone because that will also be the end of the Earth's magnetic field. If the sun hasn't swelled and died first.

  • Harshavardhan Thyagarajan

    Harshavardhan Thyagarajan

     yesterday +1

    if i have kids i'm gonna name them after supercontinents

  • Lunch Box

    Lunch Box

     2 days ago

    Does he sound like he talking at 2x speed

  • nuoipter termer

    nuoipter termer

     2 days ago

    There’s a mistake on here. You said Pangea formed 300 million years ago. Pangea formed about 330 million years ago.

  • POS Industries

    POS Industries

     4 days ago +1

    A bold assumption that humans won't have gone extinct in their entirety 250 million years from now.

  • mtlicq


     5 days ago

    sorry, these maps really suck. One example, they show current day shape and size of the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay/James Bay despite that proterozoic eon being 2.5 billion years to 541 million years ago. Even the Great Lakes only 10000 or 20000 years ago were very very very different in size and shape ...

  • Hazel Daze

    Hazel Daze

     6 days ago

    The great lakes!!

  • Zap 0909Y

    Zap 0909Y

     7 days ago +1

    Soviet Union 200 MYA

  • F.


     7 days ago

    can you speak a bit slower? I mean a maybe something comparable to 0.93 etc. Anyway, great vid!

  • A Nihtgenga

    A Nihtgenga

     7 days ago

    I get your drift.

  • Kyle Maddox

    Kyle Maddox

     7 days ago

    How does GPS account for continental drift?

  • khaegii


     7 days ago

    And yet we havent figured out immortality 😞

  • Andrea


     7 days ago +1

    Know... These videos always show me that we are just another phase of the earth... We'll fade... Maybe by our own doing... Maybe not
    But we'll be gone... And then maybe nobody will remember that we were once here
    Tho.. Maybe another species will rise and find our bone, buildings and Technologie and think "huh... Weird" when they study us

  • Luthando Nqakala

    Luthando Nqakala

     7 days ago +1

    I literally subscribed because because he did a Bill Wurtz

  • Stando pawah

    Stando pawah

     7 days ago

    alfred wegnar looks kinda like shia labeouf ngl

  • M N

    M N

     7 days ago

    4:48 boomer spotted

  • Maria


     7 days ago

    The material was great, yet the delivery was jarring.

  • Jerry Sumner

    Jerry Sumner

     7 days ago

    Great, but slow down a little.