A Short History of Nearly Everything - Part 3, Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Bill Bryson
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Part 3, Chapter 12 Summary and Analysis

In 1908, Frank Bursley Taylor proposed that the continents had once been a single mass that gradually drifted apart. His theory of continental drift was deemed too crackpot for serious consideration. A German weatherman named Alfred Wegener compared plants and fossil records from various continents and noticed anomalies. How could the same snails exist in Scandinavia and New England? They were clearly too small to swim the ocean. Wegener theorized that all the continents came from a single landmass, called Pangaea that split apart and drifted away.

Most geologists were not going to accept any theory by a meteorologist. Instead, when fossils of the same ancient horses were found in France and Florida, they theorized about an ancient land bridge across the Atlantic Ocean. It did not help that Wegener miscalculated Greenland's westward drift at a mile a year, when...

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This section contains 533 words
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