1.1 Our world, a jigsaw puzzle

Ever observed the world map long enough to question yourself why does it look like a jigsaw puzzle? The thought must have come to Abraham Ortelius (Flemish/Netherlandish cartographer and geographer) while creating the first(s) modern atlas for us back in 1500s. Especially the geometrical similarity between the coasts of America and Europe – Africa, and to propose continental drift as an explanation.

WAIT..! Ya man, it looks like Americas were “torn away from the Europe and Africa”

The seed of this idea was sufficient to get planted in fertile brain of Alfred Wegener (a geophysicist and meteorologist) in early 1900s. He’s known as originator of theory of continental drift and was in controversial highlights for long after introducing his theory.

Wegener argued to convince that all the continents were once joined together in a single landmass and had since drifted apart. The statements were based on his study and observations during his excursions to both sides of the Atlantic Ocean for rock type, geological structures and fossils. He noticed significant similarities between matching sides of the continents, especially in fossil plants.

He also stated that the “Mid-Atlantic ridge zone in which the floor of the Atlantic, as it keeps spreading, is continuously tearing open and making space for fresh, relatively fluid and hot sima [rising] from depth.

But poor boy got caught up in other chores to pursue those ideas further.

We took almost 50 years to accept his idea as there was “Daya kuch to gadbad hai” types doubt in his theory. But ‘Daya’(Alfred Holmes – introduced plate tectonics) came to rescue the theory was accepted in 1950s.