Before Pangaea

Jul 31, 2023 | Science, Videos

The search for an ancient lost continent has been a fascination of scientists, historians, and explorers since time immemorial. Now, thanks to the advancements in scientific technology, we have a better understanding of the Earth’s changing geology and plate tectonics.

The theory of Lemuria was first proposed by Phillip Slater in 1860 when he discovered over 29 species of lemurs on Madagascar—a significantly higher number than the 12 species found on the entire African continent and three in India. This led him to believe that there must have been an ancient land bridge connecting Madagascar with Africa and India, which he called “Lemuria”.

However, his hypothesis was later disproven as 19th century geologists realized that our planet had not always looked the same—continents could have crumbled and sunk into the ocean due to underground earthquakes. It wasn’t until the 20th century that we fully understood plate tectonics and how continents move together and break apart over eons of time.

Studies conducted on the Earth’s crust in ocean basins allowed researchers to trace back continents 340 million years ago. Meanwhile, fossils were also another source of ample evidence: 300 million-year-old fossils belonging to Gosopterus plants were found all across Antarctica, India, Australia, South Africa and South America—all suggesting they came from a single supercontinent with a temperate or tropical climate. Moreover, majestic mountain ranges all over the world are testament to what must have been massive collisions between two big landmasses.

It is estimated that it will take around 250 million years before another supercontinental age occurs again—a timeframe too long for us to imagine or comprehend. We may never know what life would be like at this point or if humanity will still exist then; but one thing is certain: it is coming!

If you’re curious about this incredible phenomenon, then you should definitely watch “Searching for Lost Continents: The Supercontinent” documentary by National Geographic! In this exciting documentary series, viewers can join noted experts as they explore fascinating evidence that points to an ancient landmass larger than any existing today – giving us insight into Earth’s past – and future – geography.

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David B