tectonic-plates

Humans Are Weird

So there has been a bit of “what if humans were the weird ones?” going around tumblr at the moment and Earth Day got me thinking. Earth is a wonky place, the axis tilts, the orbit wobbles, and the ground spews molten rock for goodness sakes. What if what makes humans weird is just our capacity to survive? What if all the other life bearing planets are these mild, Mediterranean climates with no seasons, no tectonic plates, and no intense weather? 

What if several species (including humans) land on a world and the humans are all “SCORE! Earth like world! Let’s get exploring before we get out competed!” And the planet starts offing the other aliens right and left, electric storms, hypothermia, tornadoes and the humans are just … there… counting seconds between flashes, having snowball fights, and just surviving. 

In 1912 Alfred Wegener proposed a controversial theory about how the Earth’s land masses formed. He said the great continents had once formed a single landmass, which had broken up over time. The idea went against all conventional ideas, and was roundly dismissed.

It took the work of young cartographer Marie Tharp to prove him right.

In 1947, she worked on a team that were running expeditions around the world, mapping the ocean floors with echolocation. However, Marie wasn’t allowed on the missions because women were seen as ‘bad luck’…

But the work she did back at the university was invaluable. Converting endless data into detailed profiles, she realised that the ocean floor isn’t a flat, featureless plane, but a complex, varied landscape.

Most importantly, she spotted a long, V-shaped valley in each of her profiles: a rift valley that supported Wegener’s theory, formed by two land masses moving apart, splitting the ocean floor in two.

But even with this evidence, Tharp’s ideas were dismissed as ‘girl talk’.

She then realised that her profiles tied in with worldwide earthquake maps being developed by a colleague.

The mounting evidence started to convince some sceptics, but not all. Renowned explorer Jacques Cousteau was so unconvinced that he sent an expedition to film the ocean floor and clear things up once and for all. What did his footage show? Exactly what Tharp had predicted.

Tharp’s steadfast determination had paved the way for Wegener’s continental drift theory to gain traction. As the tide of opposition waned, it gave birth to our modern understanding of plate tectonics and secured Tharp’s position as one of the most outstanding cartographers of the 20th century.

Watch the full story on our YouTube channel.

i’ve been waking up on the floor with a bloody nose
making great big messes before i even wake up, it’s hilarious
mouthwash doesn’t rinse away the taste of regret
no matter how hard i brush my teeth and tongue i can still taste your pale ghost
i see visions, doomed paradise right before my feet
i can hear terror through the bricks, i can hear the silence that used to come right before your laugh
but i don’t hear you laughing anymore, except maybe in my sleep, except maybe in my sleep
—  tectonic plates II ; no suffix is large enough to hold the weight of all the words i started to say but never finished, no page is long enough to carry the load of all the sentences i almost finished, no envelope is wide enough to have all the letters i almost sent your way

Science Fact Friday: Wallace’s Line

This line may seem like small potatoes but Wallace discovered it before Darwin’s theory of evolution and long before scientists developed the theory of plate tectonics and continental drift. Scientists were still uncertain /why/ these two regions had such different wildlife. Tigers and monkeys on one side, kangaroos and platypus on the other. What gives?

Even though they are (relatively) close now, Australia and Asia haven’t been connected since the supercontinent Pangaea broke up about 175 million years ago. At that time, Australia was next to the Indian subcontinent and Antarctica. India gradually drifted upwards into Asia, Antarctica southwards to the pole, and Australia has been an island ever since. The consequence of this is that Australian species have been evolving, isolated, for about 80 million years.

The line has been modified a few times - Huxley proposed a small shift (pictured), and two other lines (Weber’s and Lydekker’s) have also been suggested.

[ 28.08.16 • 10/100 DAYS OF PRODUCTIVITY ]
wuhu some geog notes on plate tectonics that I did last week in preparation for my time trial the second day after c:
but well the day was well spent I suppose, 28/8!!aka birthday so there was cake the night before and then it was just studying straight on haha ;-; I completed my essay assignment though, on the reduction of gender inequality through education wew all that in-text referencing really tires out your eyes :’) hope everyone had a gr8 day though!!!

Okay, but consider this: We actually NEED our crazy, more or less hostile environment. We are, as a species, not built to survive on a more habitable planet.


After a suitable time of acquaintance, so they don’t come across as rude, our new alien buddies offer to relocate us to a friendlier planet without freak weather or shifting tectonic plates, because, well, death world, who would want to stay here?

And since we are starting to have a little problem with overpopulation, we take them up on it. No everyone gets relocated, a surprising amount of people doesn’t even want to relocate in the first place, but it’s still enough people for a few new, first settlements. In space. Everyone’s ecstatic.

Live goes on, and then after a few years people in these new settlements get sick.
They become listless, apathetic and aggressive at the same time, overall depression rises and no one can figure out why. The planet’s perfect for us I’m any way? What’s going on?

I don’t know, though, if I want the humans to come up with a solution or have the aliens figure out what’s going on and go WTF? What is wrong with these humans? They don’t just thrive in adversity, they actually need it?

gotta finish every trilogy
gotta listen to every song on shuffle, through and through
gotta run every road, right until the horizon
and then past it, under the sun
or maybe through it, through its light
gotta make sense, even when all you wanna do is scream
gotta finish that thesis, even if a howl will sound cleaner
gotta put your ear to the ground and listen to the tectonic plates shift and move
they’re all going home but where am i going?
i don’t know
—  tectonic plates III ; responsibilities haunt me almost as much as your cologne
instagram

Ha, apparently the music for this morning shot of Mt. Hood is titled “Plate tectonics”

you asked me to stay, but i (reluctantly) said “no”
i said i had work to do, i don’t know if you believed me
i didn’t talk much back in the day, my fault
i knew you were hoping we could say everything important
with just our eyes, with only our eyes
secretly i was hoping for the exact same thing
sleeping wasn’t the same
it was seven or so hours waiting for the sun to come around so i could
see you again because meeting you in my dreams wasn’t enough–
i guess you needed a good distraction
and i needed a home and we were good for one another
for little while…
sadly, it wasn’t long enough
no, honey, it wasn’t long enough
i can feel a tremble in the way the earth moves, the tectonic plates are talking, rumbling, snoring, moving inch by inch, year by year, increment by increment, you get the idea
porn is unrealistic and the sky is empty, my hand misses yours and i’m terrified i’ll be stuck like this, broken, till forever comes around
i don’t know how to walk without stumbling, i don’t know how to lie and say i don’t miss you anymore
i don’t know how to go to sleep now since i see you in my dreams and when i wake up my heart breaks all over again knowing full well i won’t get to say everything i still need to say to you with my eyes
—  tectonic plates ; everything happens for a reason, so they say, but i still don’t see why you had to leave

Sometimes Cas just talks.

Dean thinks it might be a side-affect of Falling–that after losing the hugeness of a Grace, there’s too much experience and knowledge to keep it all bottled up.

Well, that, and humans generally like to tell stories.

So Dean listens. And in the early hours of the morning, when he closes his eyes after a roll in the hay, Castiel paints the night sky of the Sahara desert across his eyelids, speaking lowly of the cold and heat and the people who live there. 

Cas talks about Spain, and Paris, and Pangaea. About Australia before it was Australia. About Chile. Lebanon. Malawi.

“What’s your favorite place?” Dean asks one night.

Cas says, “Iceland.”

It’s not what Dean is expecting.

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Tsunamis are caused by energy originating underwater from a volcanic eruption, a submarine landslide, or, most commonly, an earthquake on the ocean floor.

1. For example, the tectonic plates of the Earth’s surface slip, releasing a massive amount of energy into the water. 2. This energy travels up to the surface, displacing water and raising it above the normal sea level.

3. Gravity pulls that energy back down.

4. As a result, the energy ripples outwards horizontally. Thus, the tsunami is born, moving at over 500 miles per hour.  

From the TED-Ed Lesson How tsunamis work - Alex Gendler

Animation by Augenblick Studios