This is a special "flat earth" version of the drift of the continents,
starting from the breakup
of the Super-continent Pangea about 200 million years ago. The continents were hand flattened
by Atwater such that they are recognizable and they fit together in both their Pangean and
The motivation of this construction is to depict the breakup and drift of rigid pieces, while
obviating common problems with other depictions. (In the most common depiction, the earth's
surface is flattened via some projection such as the Mercator projection. Unfortunately,
in these projections, drifting pieces artificially change size and shape. Other versions show
rigid pieces moving around the surface of the globe, but since you can only see one side,
they keep drifting out of view.)
There are two versions of the movie: 1) with plain continents and 2) with continents that
include the deformation of southern Eurasia driven by its continental collisions. The first
is best for a basic introduction to Pangea and continental drift. The second is more fun,
but definitely distracting from the most basic story.
To view these movies, click on their images.
Comments on this and all of the materials offered on this site are welcomed: firstname.lastname@example.org