World-renowned geologist James Maxlow discusses the theory of Expansion Tectonics. In a startling challenge to conventional geology, Expansion Tectonics suggests that the Earth has not always been the same size. Hundreds of millions of years ago, it may have been much, much smaller, with vast implications for the past, present and future of life on this planet. A single super-continent called Pangaea dominated Earth 300 million years ago. But whereas Plate Tectonics states that it existed surrounded by a huge super-ocean, Expansion Tectonics suggests that it covered the entire planetary surface. As the planet expanded – about 100 million years ago – so the spaces currently occupied by the great oceans opened up.
Expansion Tectonics offers a radical overhaul of many accepted ideas about the Earth. It can help explain patterns of evolution, how life spread across the planet, catastrophic mass extinctions, and mysteries such as how and when Antarctica could once have been lush, green and free from ice. The theory therefore has relevance to Earth changes that we are witnessing today. It also poses many fascinating questions: if the planet is expanding, where does the additional matter come from? What, if anything, can it tell us about the origins of the Earth? Is expansion occurring on other planets, in other galaxies or even throughout the entire Universe?
With or without Expansion Tectonics, the Earth does continue to expand, although the rate – just a few centimeters per year – is stretched across such a vast timescale that it has barely registered since human beings first evolved. However, should it continue, life on Earth will once again be profoundly transformed during the next few million years.
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