North Africa, Newfoundland

In school, we used to marvel at how Africa fitted into South America as if the two had been pulled apart. In school now, they teach that they were pushed apart and the Drifting Continent Theory is accepted. Along the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, from North to South at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, molten material pushes up and out. The Americas are pushed west and Europe and Africa pushed east a few more inches each year. Some day this will stop and they will drift back again; that is, they will if they repeat the past, because twice already the Atlantic Ocean has closed completely.

Apparently, there are great plates which drift about on partly melted rock deep down below the continents and not so far below the ocean bottoms. Once, India left Africa and drifted against Asia so hard that it pushed up the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. Right now, a piece of East Africa is cracking off and will be off on its own in a few million years or so. California and that piece of Mexico that hangs out below it are preparing to drift out and up toward Alaska.

Nearer home, we have souvenirs and the best of them are in Newfoundland. The eastern half looks like a Parker House roll and that is because Europe scraped the ocean bottom up as it squashed Newfoundland against North America, twice. The last time Africa pushed the southeastern corner of Newfoundland and left part of North Africa behind. We call it the Avalon Peninsula, but it is really part of Africa.

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~ by dkcrowdis on February 24, 2008.

2 Responses to “North Africa, Newfoundland”

  1. Looking forward to more ‘lessons’.

  2. This is really interesting. At 54, I learned about the shifting plates when I took my GED’s in ’08. There was less detailand personality in what I read.

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