Our earth is over 4 billion years old. In its entire life, the planet has gone through so many changes that if we go back in time, we won’t even be able to recognize anything about our planet. It took millions of years for life to begin on earth, and that too were not the dinosaurs that we hear so frequently of. Our species have been here hardly for 200,000 years. But then, what was the planet like before these life forms were born?
Going back 300 million years in time, well before the age of dinosaurs, the plants and animals were alien to us. The earth was one massive supercontinent known as Pangea. All our continents were fused into one huge piece of land, which eventually began to break down while forming the seven continents that we are now familiar with. Have you ever imagined how that supercontinent looked like?
300 million years is such a long time. If we were to visualize this time using dots to count the years by printing it on an A4 sheet, the papers would count to 60,000 and cover an area of 3600 square meters.
Estimates suggest that the supercontinent existed about 335-million years ago. Dozens of different factors tore it down to shreds about 175-million years ago through the process of plate tectonics. The motion of these tectonic plates is still in effect. As Australia and India share the same tectonic plate, so they continue to slide northeast towards Asia and the central Pacific Ocean.
The current setup of these continents was formed when the tectonic plates moved at the rate of about 3.7-5.6 centimeters per year. Countless images show what Pangea looked like, but these are just approximations of the continental boundaries.
Some images map the countries on this continental amalgam to give us the better idea of the 300-million-year-old world. The artist Massimo Pietrobon mapped the modern country borders on this map, as shown in the image below. If you want to dig into the map for more details, here is a version that you can zoom into.
Imagine what would happen if the world stayed that way. The Britain is not an island and even shares a border with France and Norway. So the British would have spoken French maybe? Or the French may be using the English language? Hard to imagine! This would have made the US share borders with Morocco, Senegal, and Cuba while Canada has Denmark, Portugal, and Spain on the sides.