How Earth will look like 250 million years from now

Earth's continents are constantly in motion. Studying the past movement of the land masses we can figure out where they might go in the future.

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Our planet is continuously in motion. Continents are floating on tectonic plates at different speeds from 1 to even over 10cm a year. Recently Australia had to shift its geographic coordinates by 1.5m (4.9ft) as the global GPS coordinates didn’t match the real world (Australia shifts 7cm a year north-east).

The idea that continents drift dates back to the beginning of XX-th century when German geophysicist Alfred Wegener noticed huge similarities between fossils found on various continents which suggested that the land masses might have been connected. Additionally, he could clearly see that shapes of Africa and South America were fitting together really well.

At that time there was no evidence to support Wegener’s continental drift theory and few people liked it. It was only in 1950s and 60s when the geoscientific community accepted plate-tectonic theory after discovering underwater mountain ranges and validating seafloor spreading phenomena.

The ocean floor map (Credit: The Protected Art Archive/Alamy)

Studying the contemporary movement of the land masses, scientists concluded that approximately 175 million years ago a single supercontinent (named Pangea) begun to break apart and the process continues until today.

Now researchers try to model how the continents will look like in the future. There are a few theories but most of them have similar conclusions: all continents will collide again and form another supercontinent. Take a look at these visualizations:

It’s also interesting to see how Earth’s continents looked like millions of years ago:

Aleks Buczkowski
I'm a professional always thinking outside the box and a self-confessed gadget addict. As a son of a professor of cartography I was surrounded by maps all my life and as a result spatial way of thinking and seeing reality is naturally embedded in who I am.