Science & Tech

You can now find out where your city would have been 600 million years ago

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Earth has been through various changes over the course of millions of years, so it's hard to imagine where modern-day locations would be in those ancient times.

But now there's an interactive map that can incredibly pinpoint what a location looked like at certain periods in history when the planet looked different, for example when dinosaurs were roaming about.

Using paleogeographic maps by C.R. Scotese of the PALEOMAP Project, as well as plate tectonic data, this visualization was developed by Ian Webster.

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The map at https://dinosaurpictures.org/ancient-earth appears to show what Earth looked like 240 million years ago when the countries we all know today were joined together as part of the supercontinent Pangaea.

But users can see even further back, all the way up to 750 million years ago (though pinpointing specific cities is trickier to do for this time) - e.g. London's location goes back to 600 million years ago.

London looks a little different 240 million years ago...Paleogeographic maps by C.R. Scotese, visualization developed by Ian Webster

As the maps go from 750 million years ago all the way up to today, you can see the Pangaea separate as a result of tectonic plate movement into the continents we're familiar with: Eurasia, the Americas, Africa, Antarctica, and Oceania.

While these movements cannot be seen within a human lifetime, the map shows how these slow changes have taken place over the course of hundreds of millions of years.

To see this transformation, desktop users can use their left and right arrow keys to see the continents break apart.

There is also a dropdown option in the top right of the screen that allows users to jump to important moments in Earth's history such as the first green algae, the first land animals, and the first dinosaurs.

For those wanting to look up their location, simply type this into the search bar in the top left corner where some dropdown options should appear, and once chosen a red spot should appear on the map where your location is said to be in that time period.

To try the interactive map for yourself visit: https://dinosaurpictures.org/ancient-earth

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