Ancient Earth Globe: A Map Revealing Millions of Years Ago
Earth, with its reassuringly familiar continents arranged in the reliable configuration you know and love, has not always looked the way it does now. Landmasses that were once clamped together on supercontinents have cracked, fractured, moved apart, and come together again and again over the course of our planet’s 4.5 billion-year history.
In a sense, your hometown location has therefore done more world tours than you. And you can even discover how much that location has changed over hundreds of millions of years, thanks to a great interactive website going around recently.
This map, called the Ancient Earth Globe, was created a few years ago by paleontologist Ian Webster. And this map is combined with GPlates data, an open-source repository of palaeogeographic maps and geology data developed as part of the PALEOMAPS project led by geologist paleogeographer Christopher Scotese. Webster adds, “Although plate tectonics models give precise results, you should approximate the drawings (we’ll never be able to prove accuracy, of course)”. Also, Webster said, “I’ve observed in my testing that the model results can vary significantly. I chose this model because it is widely quoted and covers the longest duration.
With this combined tool, you can basically rewind the Earth to 750 million years ago. This is not the entire history of the planet, but it covers four supercontinents. These; Panotia, Gondwana, Laurentia (North American Craton) and Pangea.
When you open the map, it starts 240 million years ago by default. In other words, the Middle Triassic period, when Pangea, the last supercontinent before the earth as we know it, dominated the world. Life consisted of the devastating Permian Triassic extinction that occurred about 10 to 12 million years ago.
You can also choose your own dates from the drop-down menu in the center; Also, this is the part you’ve been waiting for, the text box in the upper left corner allows you to enter a location that you can follow through the ages, with lines marked to show boundaries in the present-day Earth.
“My software ‘geocodes’ the user’s location and then uses Scotese’s models to work their location backwards in time,” Webster told CNN. “I created the interactive globe visualization and geocoding and GPlates integration myself so people can enter their own location.”
It’s really fun to go back in time and see your hometown deep in the waves or see the gradual view of mountain ridges you recognize as you step forward.
You can access website at this address: https://dinosaurpictures.org/ancient-earth#240. Of course, if you do not trust the link address, if you type “Ancient Earth Globe” into the search engine, it will come to you. 🙂