Pangaea supercontinent with modern countries

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

pangea_countries
If Pangaea was divided into modern day countries.

Have you ever looked at a globe and wondered why the countries are different colors? Well, that makes it easier to tell where one country ends and another begins on a map. If they were all the same color, it’d be really tough to tell one nation from another. Just imagine how much harder it would be if all the continents still formed Pangaea!

Pangaea? What is that? According to experts, the 7 continents on Earth were once all stuck together into one big supercontinent called Pangaea. Little by little, the continents began to drift, inch by inch in a different direction from each other. Not surprisingly, scientists call this phenomenon continental drift and there’s tons of evidence to support the fact that Antarctica, North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa were all one big land.

You know kangaroos can only be found in Australia, right? Well, the ancestors of these animals can be found all over the Earth in fossils! This is true for several animals that are found only in certain places in the world. It’s as if their parents lived together on Pangaea, and their kids grew up separately when the supercontinent broke apart. If that wasn’t enough evidence, geologists can study the movements of the continents by looking at minerals inside of magnetic rocks. The properties of the minerals further support the theory of a supercontinent. Last but not least, the shapes of the continents seem to fit like a big puzzle!

Well, now that we’ve gone on a little scientific journey across Pangaea, let’s check out where the present-day countries would be on the ancient supercontinent. An Italian artist who goes by “Massimo” decided to create a very unique piece of art that visually explores what that would look like. Can you imagine how much time you’d save traveling if Pangaea was still around? You could get from the US to Africa with just a quick bus ride!

Illustration of Pangaea courtesy of Massimo.