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Continents Are Cracking, What Will They Look Like in the Future?

You’re probably too young to remember, but
at one point, almost all the Earth’s landmass was clumped into one gigantic supercontinent
called Pangea. Land was like you and your friends from high
school: one tightly knit bunch. But then you graduate, people move away, you
lose touch, and suddenly it’s 250 million years later and the world’s all spread out
and everyone but you is getting married. Sorry, got lost in the metaphors. But the thing is, those forces that pulled
the Earth’s land in all directions are still here today, so what will the earth look like
in another 250 million years? That is a very long way off so no one can
say for sure, but we can make educated guesses based on what’s happening right now. See the Earth’s surface isn’t set in stone. The crust and upper part of the molten mantle,
together called the lithosphere, are broken up into several tectonic plates that fit together
like puzzle pieces. These plates glide around on the Earth’s
molten interior, creating mountains and volcanoes where they collide, new crust where they separate,
and earthquakes where they slide past each other. The plates only move centimeters each year,
but sometimes dramatic events happen suddenly. Like the giant crack that just opened up in
Africa. In March of 2018 a huge crack appeared in
Kenya. There are a few possible explanations, like
heavy rain or underground water washing away sediment. But it’s also possible that Africa is splitting
in two. The same forces that cause the plates to move
can also break them apart, and right now it looks like the African plate is breaking up
into unequal parts: the Somali and Nubian plates. Africa isn’t the only continent making a
break for it, Australia is on the move too. In fact the entire country is moving north
so quickly that it could throw GPS systems off in just a few years. If you take what we see happening now, you
can run the clock forward a bit and extrapolate what is likely to happen. There’s no guarantees though, since things
move slow and steady right up until they don’t, and some unforeseen catastrophe changes everything. Anything past 50 million years in the future
is really speculative, but it’s fun, so let’s speculate! Projections from Chris Scotese, a professor
from Northwestern University, have North and South America splitting up within the next
30 million years when Panama breaks away from Colombia. This is of course due to man’s hubris when
we dug the Panama canal. Kidding, the same forces that slid Panama
into the place it is today will snap it off of South America again sometime in the future. I guess Teddy Roosevelt could have just waited
a while Down under will get a little less down and
under as Australia makes a bee line for Asia. According to Scotese’s estimates it will
smack into China, getting all up in it’s business and fusing together within 65 million
years. Meanwhile the northern edge of Africa will
have joined up with the southern edge of Europe, completely eliminating the mediterranean sea. So don’t buy beachfront property in Italy,
it’ll be worthless. Around 100 million years from now the Pacific
ocean will start getting bigger as the americas drift towards europe, but not before Alaska
nicks a piece of Russia. And while all this is happening Antarctica
will start drifting into the Indian ocean to see what the party’s all about. It will join Brazil and Madagascar at the
southern tip of Africa while Newfoundland smooshes into the Ivory Coast. In 250 million years, we could be looking
at a new supercontinent, Pangea Proxima. Of course this is one possibility, another
one is North America crosses the arctic ocean to snuggle up to Russia, forming another supercontinent
dubbed Amasia. It’ll amaze-ya. It’s kind of poetic that the whole gang
could get back together again. Of course, in all likelihood it’ll just
break up again and the cycle will continue until the earth’s molten interior cools
or something else causes tectonic activity to stop. But that’s way in the future, for now just
enjoy the ride. Especially you, Australia, hang on tight. Tectonic plates move between 2 and 7 centimeters
each year, which is about the same speed your fingernails and hair grows, respectively. Thanks for tuning in, and come back for more videos from Seeker.

100 thoughts on “Continents Are Cracking, What Will They Look Like in the Future?

  1. I think when he said hair growth 2-7 cm a year he was confused and meant per month cause oh boy you bet i get more than one haircut a hear

  2. How does the world look like when the whole Africa continent split in half.
    And why are there 2 theories about the direction of the moving continents?

  3. Id like to know if Mars have the same activity of plate movement. If so it'd be so fun to watch because they dont have water covering the plates

  4. Hey! Where da' hell's Atlantis n' Lemuria?? I wanted Atlantis + Lemuria!! Like with Wizards n Dinosaurs, n' Dinosaur Wizards? More on dat' later…

  5. I know this has nothing to do with the topics discussed in the video but doesn't this guy sound like Linus from Linus Tech tips??

  6. "The Best of Australia's very owned c๐ŸŒntinent Godspeed very much"๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿคฉ

  7. This is so far off the topic but, I challenge JULIAN HUGUET to workout and gain some muscle. Like if you agree. Notice me senpai

  8. I am still learning english and I wonder why the tittle looks like this "What Will Continents Look Like in the Future?" instead of "How Will Continents Look Like in the Future? Can anyone tell me what is the difference and why is that so?

  9. Continents? o_O "Then I saw "a new heaven and a new earth," for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea." Revelation 21:1

  10. China within 250 million years will become a mountain-exclusive country lol. Wonder what the aliens will think of that?


  12. I was hoping for speculation on what would happen if, instead of drifting back into a new supercontinent, they kept breaking up into smaller continents and spread out. For example, if Alaska broke off of North America and drifted south into the middle of the Pacific, how would that affect weather patterns? I've been fascinated with that ever since reading about the fictional planet Selonia in one of the Star Wars EU books.

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