15 Apr

Map of the Week: Modern-Day Pangea

By: Nicholas Schmidt

Map Source: Visual Capitalist

Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are a frequent reminder that the earth beneath us is constantly changing. Although continental plates move only 1-4 inches per year, their movement reshapes the surface of the plate through time. The changes may not seem apparent in day-to-day life, but on a long enough timeline, those inches add up to significant variations in the way Earth’s landmasses are configured.

Pangea was Earth’s most recent supercontinent, forming over 300 million years ago. The landmass made up one-third of the planet’s surface and has caught the interest of scientists for the past century.

The continents today exist in a very different setting – configured by millions of years of plate tectonic activity – separated by oceans and divided up in political boundaries. 

Pangea and the modern world have two distinct images in the human mind. This week’s map, by Massimo Pietrobon, looks back to the times when Earth’s surface was dominated by one supercontinent. Pietrobon’s map is unique in the characteristic that it applies modern borders of present-day countries to Pangea. The display helps us understand how the continent broke apart to form the world we are familiar with today.

To read more about this map, visit the article from Visual Capitalist.