?  Library of Wonders The Wonder of  the Earth

Is it true the continents are moving?

Take a good look at a world map or a globe. If you moved North and South America and placed them beside Africa, can you see how neatly they would line up? About 220 million years ago, all of today’s continents were joined together in one super huge continent. It’s believed cracks formed in the super continent and the pieces slowly drifted apart. Over time, these pieces moved into their current shape.

So why did the continents move? The answer is related to the mantle inside the Earth. The mantle is a hot mass of rock that moves under the Earth’s surface. The mantle’s movement causes the continents to move.

For example, the area where the Himalayas are now was once a shallow sea long ago. What happened was the Indian subcontinent drifted and collided with Asia. The powerful impact raised the sea up into the sky and formed the Himalayas. The Japanese archipelago was sunk at the bottom of the sea until about 300 million years ago. The archipelago rose up from the seafloor about 200 million years ago, rising above the sea and sinking back down again and again. All this time, it was joined to the Asian continent. The continent and Japan were connected by land until about 100,000 years ago. People, animals, and other living things were able to come to Japan because of the land bridge.