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A Crack Under Ocean May Pull Europe and the Americas Together

Alright class, listen up! How many continents do you know there are
in the world? Seven, you say? Well, what if I told you that in the future,
we might just be a couple continents short? Let’s see what our planet has in store for
us! I’ll start from the very beginning. Well that would be the Big Bang. Hmm. How about 1755? Yeah. That year there was a huge earthquake in Lisbon,
Portugal that had catastrophic consequences. The city was almost demolished by the shaking
and pounding, which ended in a massive tsunami that finished the job. After that, everything went quiet, and for
more than 200 years no more natural disasters happened. But then, in 1969, another earthquake shook
the west of Portugal — this one milder, and the country was better prepared for the
shaking, but it was still considered very powerful. It was then that marine geologist João Duarte
started looking at the tectonic plates beneath Portugal. He was concerned with those earthquakes for
a single reason: they were not normal. But before we go into detail here, we need
to understand what a “normal” earthquake is, exactly. You see, quakes happen when two tectonic plates
meet, and one of them is forced underneath the other because of gravity and pressure. The area where this occurs is called the subduction
zone, and it’s basically a fracture — or a fault — in the Earth’s rocky fundament. Now can you imagine a tectonic plate? (Remember those things in school too? You know, the big pieces that make up the
puzzle that is our planet!) Let’s take one of the biggest of them to
understand the sheer size of those things. Take a world map and find North America on
it. It’s part of the North American Plate, but
not all of it — far from it, in fact. The plate beneath the continent of North America
spreads to the northeast and covers the whole of Greenland and its coastal waters. Huge? Sure is. But that’s not all. It also stretches to the far north, goes over
the Arctic and down the other side of the world to take in parts of Eastern Russia and
Japan. Now that is more than huge — it’s simply
ginormous. And what’s more, it’s never really in
one place; the plates are constantly on the move, floating on the planet, if you will. So, now that you realize the scale, picture
this: a plate the size of the North American one bumps into another equally big one, say
the Pacific Plate and one of those plates goes under the other along the West Coast
along the famous San Andreas Fault. Since both plates are right beneath our feet,
we can’t help but feel their collision. That’s how earthquakes form, and not only
them — volcanic eruptions are also the result of tectonic movement, thus the infamous Pacific
Ring of Fire — as well as mountain formations and ocean trenches. So what’s so unusual about an earthquake
in Portugal, then? The thing is, this country is far from any
tectonic fault, and the plate it sits on is flat. The chance of a quake there should be close
to zero, and yet it happened twice in just about two centuries — that’s like a few
seconds on a geological scale! According to what we know, it’s a complete
puzzle. At least it was until João Duarte, who I
mentioned earlier, found the answer. He and his team have been monitoring the area
under Portugal for over 10 years using state-of-the-art technology to solve this earth-shaking riddle. And finally, in May 2019, Duarte published
the first results of his research…and it looked like bad news… Duarte’s team found that the plate they
were looking at has been undergoing the process of serpentinization. Nope, that has nothing to do with snakes — it’s
a natural process when the rock in the seabed absorbs water. It literally snakes inside the cracks and
fissures in the tectonic plate, and the pressure from it makes the rock weaker. When it reaches a certain level, though, the
seabed basically becomes unhinged. If the cracks inside the plate are big enough,
water finds a way into each and every one of them, making the layers of the rock peel
away from each other. Let me give you an example: say, you’re
driving on a bright sunny day. You just got brand new tires so they’ve
got a good grip on the road. But then, all of a sudden, it starts raining,
and in a blink of an eye, it’s already pouring. The road is quickly covered in a thin layer
of water, and your tires start losing their grip. If you’re not careful, you can easily fly
off the road because the thin film of water between your tires and the road is actually
enough to lift your vehicle and send it hydroplaning! The same thing happens when water gets between
the layers of a tectonic plate. They have different density, so they’re
naturally divided already. Water, in its turn, separates them even further,
making the top layer slide off the bottom one. Given the size of the Eurasian plate, which
Portugal is part of, such movement can be compared with two tectonic plates going one
under the other. And, like I said a bit earlier, when this
happens, earthquakes are bound to occur. So, mystery solved, right? But what about the peeling off of a tectonic
plate — what will happen to the planet when the top layer finally slides away? Well, Duarte has his own hypothesis about
that too, and he was really excited to share it in several interviews. You see, when tectonic masses move around,
they eventually bump into each other. For now, there’s a set number of those plates,
and they’re moving at a verrrry slow rate. But if a new one happens to appear in the
future, it’ll fill in the space between the existing plates and create even more bumps
with them. It’s not hard to guess that it’ll cause
a lot more earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but that’s not even the worst of it. Though maybe “worst” is not the best word
here — it’s better to say “most exciting.” The brand new tectonic plate will go underneath
the Atlantic Ocean and collide with several other plates at once. It’ll be pushed under some of them and above
others, but the result will be all the same: more and more subduction zones will start
appearing, causing natural disasters… and the eventual disappearance of the Atlantic
Ocean itself. Wait, what?! Okay, here it goes: imagine you’re in a
bathtub made of rock. The bottom of it is solid enough, and the
water is kept at the level you want. You’re nice and cozy, alright (well, comfortable
enough for someone sitting on a bunch of rocks!). But then something moves beneath you, and
you feel one of the stones in the rocky bottom shift from its place. And a big stone it is! It turns and pushes several other stones to
different sides, and then you see cracks appearing between them. Naturally, water from your nice warm tub starts
seeping right into the cracks, leaving you in a dry rocky bed after some time. Aww, no more bath time fun… You get the point, right? If some newcomer shifts all the rest of the
tectonic plates, it will eventually lead to water seeping away from the Atlantic Ocean. But the process here is a bit more complicated:
the missing water will find its way to some other place on Earth — Duarte believes it
will be the Pacific. And while the movement of the plates continues
— and it will go on until there’s space for that — the landscape of our planet will
continue reshaping. So one day, when the new plate finally finds
a comfortable place for itself, we’ll have a new supercontinent: Aurica! Hmm, I like “Eurmerica” better, but, hey,
they didn’t ask me… In fact, you might know already that our planet
hasn’t always been separated into seven continents. Once upon a time, it was all one huge supercontinent
called Pangea. And it was broken up exactly because of the
same geological process: tectonic movement. The plates just shifted around, moved away
from each other, and new continents formed from Pangea, which was simply torn apart. But the movement didn’t stop, so it’s
pretty logical to assume that we might get to live on a single continent in the future! On top of that, there are several more theories
about how exactly our planet will come to this supercontinent thing. The most likely one for now is called Novopangea. Today, scientists believe that the Atlantic
Ocean is opening, while the Pacific, on the contrary, is closing. If this tendency persists, then both American
continents will go join the club with Africa and Eurasia. As a result, a huge landmass will form, surrounded
from all sides by a new, even more humungous ocean. Don’t worry, though: this all might sound
really cool, but geological processes take a lot of time. And by a lot, I mean millions of years. Tectonic movement is a slow thing, and even
if the researchers are correct, you and I won’t get to see it with our own eyes. Bummer, and here I was hoping I wouldn’t
have to make another long uncomfortable trans-Atlantic flight ever again! Oh well. So, how about you? Would you like to see what our planet will
become in a few million years? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something new today, then give
this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don’t go moving your continents
just yet! (Hey, if you went too far, would you then
be “incontinent”?) I don’t have a clue about that, but I do
know that we have over 2,000 cool videos for you to check out. All you have to do is pick the left or right
video, click on it, and enjoy! Stay on the Bright Side of life!

100 thoughts on “A Crack Under Ocean May Pull Europe and the Americas Together

  1. So I live in New Jersey and I’m guessing I can’t go to the beach cause I will be attached to Europe or Africa?

  2. Well I thought the super volcano is what separated the continent's but It does make sense cause the plates moving would also cause volcanic eruptions

  3. I wish amerika and africa if they are joind,i can call it (amferica) then good for americanst they spend somuch mony and inteligent to mack corupt theafrican lidets to get what they whont,who cars abaout the piople,hey mr,what you seid i wish if hapening right now,wight men he is not spend all caind sheet,then african they wiil not asck assaylem to get good life and edication.

  4. This might suggest that the earth was spinning in an different direction, with different poles, millions of years ago since Eumerica does not resemble Pangea

  5. Woe! Maybe all this tectonic movement could affect the polar ice cap, cause melting which would affect ocean levels and climate change.

  6. The massive tsunami ure talking abt was only 20cm tall xdd sure it killed many ppl, but it happened due to its speed, not its massive size.
    Plus im really scared of living in Lisbon rn 😰

  7. That means if im from spain. I can drive from spain to the US from the west side of europe. Thinking like that, look, isnt that bad

  8. Europe is not a continent, just a peninsula. North and South America is one continent so there are 5. If you really want to be technical, there are 4.

  9. If u r reading this u r the most amazing and coolest person on earth 😊😉 ily can I reicieve "ily" too even tho we don't know each other?

  10. Scripture says that the earth will experience an earthquake as such no nation has ever seen before. This will happen right before Jesus and His holy angels appear in the clouds of the sky. That will make possible the phrase that "every eye shall see Him," when that time arrives. Islands & mountains will appear & disappear which is what earthquakes tend to do, so it isn't going to take a million years to make it happen but in months due to the sheer rapidity that it occurs. The continents began to separate after the Great Deluge of Noah's time and caused an ice age to help gather up a certain amount of water from where it used to be gathered at.

  11. I think we will have 2 continents near future euro america and others is by paccfic near by continent emergence against each other may afrimerica 😁😅

  12. San Andreas is a strike-slip fault — where the North American and Pacific plates are moving past each other. The subduction zones are in the Pacific Northwest. Then there’s the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian plates are spreading apart. I wonder what is expected to happen with that — maybe the new plate will slide in there.

    What a “normal” earthquake is 1:13
    What’s so unusual about an earthquake in Portugal? 3:03 👉
    This research looks like bad news 👈 3:26
    So what will happen to the planet? 5:29
    The Atlantic Ocean might disappear. Wait, what?! 😨 6:21
    How exactly our planet will become a supercontinent 8:09

  14. Hey there, BrightSiders! Let's think of a name for the new continent? How would you name Europe and the Americas together?

  15. This idea of the Atlantic disappearing is complete nonsense – the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is pushing Europe and Africa on one side and the Americas on the other side away from each other, at the expense of the Pacific Ocean, which is shrinking. There isn't going to be a magic plate appearing in the Atlantic. This is mentioned only as a side-note by the end of the video, but based on our best models, that's what's going to happen.

  16. Wat about the Caribbean and the islands in the Caribbean?? Wat will happen if this thing happens @ bright side

  17. The recent earthquakes in California terrified me, especially because it happened not long after the wildfires fires.

  18. What if Europe runs away from North America and North America started chasing?
    Then we will never make the next super continent!

  19. Ugh everything exciting will happen in a few million years like hovercars or living on mars and now the 2nd supercontinent

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