During Earth’s four billion-year history, things have grown a lot – including today’s continents.
An online interactive map shows exactly where your hometown has strayed during hundreds of million years of continental drift.
In a web application created by California paleontologist Ian Webster, the map is based on a geological model created by Christopher Stoise, CNN reported.
This allows users to “travel back in time” by pre-determined increments, such as when vertebrates first appeared, or green algae first.
You can try the map yourself on ancient earth.
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Users can rotate the globe to see the size of all continents, and get a brief guide (if any) about the living creatures on Earth at that time.
For instance, for the Middle Triassic between 220 million years ago, it states: “Earth is recovering from the Permian – Tricic extinction. Small dinosaurs begin to appear. Therapids and archosaurs have emerged with the first flight vertebrates. “
For example, London has captured recognizable continents and vast land masses before splitting into the island it is known for today.
It is part of a natural cycle, scientists say, where tectonic plates come together into a supercontinent that breaks down again.
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The last time this happened was when a supercontinent known as Pangia was created, about 310 million years ago, before it broke up about 180 million years ago.
In an interview this week, Webster told CNN: “It shows that our environment is dynamic and can change.
“The history of the Earth is longer than we can conceive, and the present system of plate tectonics and continents is an accident of time. It will be very different in the future, and the earth can outperform all of us.
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My software “geocodes” the user’s location and uses the (Scotch’s) model to run its location backwards after a period of time.
“I’ve built interactive globe visualization and integration of geocoding and GPates myself so that people can plug in their own locations.”
In about 250 million years time, another supercontinent will form, scientists believe.
The future continent may take many shapes: Novopangia, Pangia Ultima, Aurica and Amasia.
In one scenario, the Americas and Antarctica may collide, forming in a ‘supercontinent’ along with other continents of our planet.