Monday, August 29, 2011
This post was originally going to be called "A bit of Texas far from home" and was going to built around the Ars Technica article Piece of crust stolen from Texas found in Antarctica. The article is about how a rock formation in Antarctica matched one in Texas, and scientists theorize they were joined in the ancient super-continent of Rodinia.
It is interesting enough, and worth a read, but this post got sidetracked when I started to look for an illustration for it. A picture of a rock isn't all that interesting, so I went to YouTube looking for an animation of continental drift. I then quickly got diverted by a series of videos claiming that the Theory of Continental Drift had it all wrong, that the world was actually expanding.
Under this theory the continents aren't plates that slosh around on top of magma and bounce into each other now and again. Rather, the continents were formed when the world expanded and broke apart the original skin of the Earth as it's surface volume expanded. You can see a video explaining that theory, and there are also videos about Mars and the Moon expanding if you have time to waste.
Mind you, I'm not a geologist, but it all seemed pretty dodgy to me. First, his explanation as to why the surface pulling apart would cause the Himalayan mountain range was less than convincing, then there was the greater problem of just where all the extra Earth was coming from. I mean, it's not as if the Earth is like a kitten that can grow fatter eating kibbles and bits.
Still, this theory has its fans -- I assume the same folk who think the Moon landings were fake or that contrails are really chemicals being sprayed by the government to... uh... to do what ever nepharious things chemtrails are supposed to do.
Then again, maybe the Expanders are right, and the Mayan's 2012 prediction really refers to the Earth finally popping like an overinflated balloon. Sounds like a fine plot for a SyFy movie to me -- a race to drill a giant hole to let the air out (but not so much air that the Earth entirely deflates) before the real Big Bang occurs.