This Map of Our Planet’s Formation Will Give You Some Much-Needed Geologic Perspective

Thursday August 16, 2018 Written by Taz

The pink dot shows where the Smith Journal office was 170 million years ago

As you might expect, is a website dedicated to artistic renderings of the prehistoric beasts that once roamed this earth. Built with the help of hundreds of palaeontologists, it’s a veritable trove of dinosaur imagery – a place to pore over pictures of old faves, discover new ones (via the Random Dinosaur search function), and enjoy a good chortle at the piddly arms of the otherwise terrifying Carnotaurus.

But the Dinosaur Database’s real flagship attraction is its interactive globe: a click-and-drag map of our planet that morphs topographically to whichever epoch you select. Go back 600 million years ago and you’ll find (half of) Australia’s landmass above the equator, and South America occupying present-day Antarctica. Click on the Triassic Period (220 million years ago) and you’ll see the U.S. starting to break away from Africa.

Earth G2
The U.S. as it appeared 260 million years ago, in the upper lefthand side of this map. 

Want to know whether it was flowers or grass that first started sprouting in the world? Where the island of modern-day India was when an asteroid nixed the dinosaurs? How planet earth looked when we first came on the scene? Even if you’re not much one for drawings of Brasilotitans and Futalognkosauruses, this breakdown of our world’s breaking apart and coming together is one of the most engrossing pieces of online entertainment we’ve seen in what feels like a very long time but, on a geologic scale, really is not.