Saturday, February 06, 2021

Do you wanna dance ...

One billion years of Earth's surface doing a slow motion dance is now accurately depicted in a captivating animation for the very first time. Mezmorzing to say the least. 

Unlike on every other rocky planet in the solar system, Earth’s surface is a giant jigsaw puzzle whose pieces are constantly on the move. Each puzzle piece is a tectonic plate, tremendous tartines made of the planet’s crust and a rigid slice of the underlying, squidgy-but-solid mantle. These plates move around at the same rate that your fingernails grow, bumping into, sliding next to and tumbling under and over each other — and in doing so, they sculpt the face of the world. 

It (the animation ed) includes the time Earth was a giant snowball 700 million years ago; the proliferation of complex animal life 540 million years ago; the greatest mass extinction in Earth’s history 252 million years ago; the evolution of flowering plants 130 million years ago; the creation of the Himalayas 45 million years ago; and — right at the last geologic second — the appearance of modern humans.

Its scientific uses aside, the animation also resonates with people on a visceral level.

“It’s quite hypnotic,” Dr. Pérez-Díaz said, “even for me, and I see them all the time.”

Continents Split Up at the Same Speed Finger Nails Grow. And That’s Fast.

Do you wanna dance indeed. :)

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