A stunning new interactive map lets you travel back in time and see how our planet’s continents have changed through more than 600 million years.
The ancient Earth Globe lets viewers appreciate how Earth’s continents have transformed while ocean levels advanced and receded through 600 million years of our planet’s history.
The stunning map was built using research gathered by Northern Arizona University. According to one of the interactive map’s creators, a former Google engineer, it shows how humans are ‘just a blip in history.’
The stunning map allows you to travel through 600 million years of our planet’s history. To understand what occurred at a certain time, the map features a small description of the period you are currently viewing.
For example, if we decide to see what the Earth looked like 600 million years ago, the ancient Earth Globe map tells us that we are looking at the Ediacaran Period. Life is evolving in the sea, and multicellular life is just beginning to emerge.
In the menu, we can scroll through different ages. 560 million years ago, we see the Late Ediacaran. Life is evolving in the sea, and multicellular life is just beginning to emerge.
A mass extinction is about to take place, tells the map while we see an unrecognizable Earth.
500 million years ago we traveled to the Late Cambrian. The interactive map explains how the ocean is teeming with life following a dramatic expansion of animal diversity in the sea, known as the “Cambrian explosion.” The forms of some animals show ancestry to modern animals.
Traveling further in time, we decided to stop by and see how our planet looked like 430 million years ago, during the Silurian Period.
The interactive map tells us that a mass extinction took place, wiping out nearly half of marine invertebrate species. The first land plants emerge, starting at the edge of the ocean. Plants evolve vascularity, the ability to transport water and nutrients through their tissues. Ocean life becomes larger and more complex, and some creatures venture out of reefs and onto land.
300 Million years ago we arrived at the Late Carboniferous.
Plants developed root systems that allowed them to grow larger and move inland. Environments evolved below tree canopies. Atmospheric oxygen increased as plants spread on land. Early reptiles have evolved, and giant insects diversify. Earth still looks unrecognizable.
If we travel to 200 million years ago, to the Late Triassic, we see a more familiar planet, although continents we see today have still not formed.
During the Late Triassic, an extinction event is about to happen, resulting in the disappearance of 76% of all terrestrial and marine life species and significantly reducing surviving populations. Some families, such as pterosaurs, crocodiles, mammals, and fish were minimally affected.
The first true dinosaurs emerge.
Earth, 105 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period begins to take a more familiar shape. During this period, Ceratopsian and pachycephalosaurid dinosaurs evolve. Modern mammal, bird, and insect groups emerge.
20 million years ago we see planet Earth during the Neocene Period where mammals and birds continue to evolve into modern forms. Early hominids emerge in Africa.
Check out the map and enjoy scrolling through Earth’s long history.
The map offers a unique educational experience that will surely help us understand not only how continents have shifted and changed through history, but it will also help us understand how they will continue doing so.