We've all pondered the origins of the Earth at least once in our lives. And this new interactive map could well answer some of our questions. It was created by Ian Webster, a paleontologist from California, and allows you to geolocate any city on Earth through the ages. You can go up to 750 million years back, and once the location entered in the search bar is displayed on the globe, the user can sort through a number of scientific facts, such as which dinosaurs lived nearby!
To create this tool, Webster used another map, which describes plate tectonics, made by geologist and paleogeographer Christopher Scotese. He then added data from GPlates, a website commonly used by geologists to observe the movement of tectonic plates over time, to it.
What's the point of this map?
Ian Webster put together this tool to show us how our planet is changing. He told CNN:
It shows that our environment is dynamic and can change. The history of Earth is longer than we can conceive, and the current arrangement of plate tectonics and continents is an accident of time. It will be very different in the future, and Earth may outlast us all.
But this map is also, in a way, a shoutout to his peers:
It is meant to spark fascination and hopefully respect for the scientists that work every day to better understand our world and its past.
That's a mission accomplished, if you ask us!