How do we know Pangea existed?

earth photo

Question from Naomi Paulson

German meteorologist Alfred Wegener first presented the concept of the Pangea supercontinent in 1912, giving three reasons for his theory. The first was how well the continents’ coastlines could fit together. The second was the similarity in the geology and climate of regions that could once have been joined.

The third was the fossils of identical plants and animals found on different continents with no obvious route for them to have travelled between them. It wasn’t until after his death that geologists could prove him right thanks to progress in rock and mineral dating, sonar and geophysics.

Answered by Jo Stass for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 117 

To feature in our Brain Dump section, send us your questions to [email protected] or message us on Facebook or Twitter

For more science and technology articles, pick up the latest copy of How It Works from all good retailers or from our website now. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, subscribe today!