About 4.5 billion years ago, a clump of molten rock began to form in the solar system that eventually evolved into what is today Earth.
David A. Roberts, an artist and computer scientist, created the planet’s evolutionary story in a mesmerizing video that puts billions of years of transitions into a four-minute simulation.
The epic story begins with an extremely hot and crater-filled protoplanet still forming into a stable world.
The video transitions to a flat image of the Earth, showing that plate tectonics started forming about 3 billion years ago.
Moving along the evolutionary timeline, Robert shows viewers colorful features that represent water flowing on the planet and continents rising above the surface.
The end of the video shows bright lights shining from continents around the world, indicating that the once red-hot world is now inhabited by humans.
“To conclude the prelude to early Earth, the pace slows to a cycle between day and night, terrain is fixed as tectonic movements become imperceptible,” Roberts said in a statement. blog after.
“Soon the night reveals unprecedented light patterns as humanity colonizes the planet’s surface.”
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The epic story begins with an extremely hot and crater-filled protoplanet still forming into a stable world
Roberts created the compelling simulation in GLSL fragment shaders, which are part of the OpenGL graphics programming language.
The opening image is of the crater-filled protoplanet, which is said to have hellish conditions like those currently on Venus.
The crust was unstable and bombardment by asteroids and comets gave way to extreme heat that lasted for millions of years.
Then, about two to three billion years ago, tectonic plates began to form one by one.
The video transitions to a flat view of Earth, showing plate tectonics begging to form, which was about three billion years ago
Scientists suggest a plume of molten mantle may have risen from deep within the planet and gathered below the surface, weakening the hard crust, or lithosphere, above it. This weak spot would have stretched over time as more material from the deep mantle accumulated there and it would have created a crack that then grew to create the boundaries of the tectonic plates.
a 2015 study suggests that a huge plume of molten mantle has risen from deep within the planet, gathering below the surface, weakening the hard crust or lithosphere above it.
This weak spot would have stretched over time as more material from the deep mantle accumulated there and it would have created a crack that then grew to create the boundaries of the tectonic plates.
The simulation randomly generates seed locations for plates, at an initial rate, Roberts shared in a blog post.
“The slabs expand over time with a simple generation model, which randomly selects adjacent points and adds them to a slab if they haven’t already been mapped to another slab.”
The next part of the video shows the formation of flowing water and continents on a much more stable planet. Oceans started forming about 3.8 billion years ago, when gas in the atmosphere cooled and turned into water that condensed into rain that filled the basins we now know as our world ocean
The next part of the video shows the formation of flowing water and continents on a much more stable planet.
Oceans started forming about 3.8 billion years ago, when gases such as hydrogen sulfide, methane in the atmosphere cooled and converted to water that condensed into rain that filled the basins we now know as the earth’s ocean, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
When the water drained into the large cavities in the Earth’s surface, the primeval ocean was formed, and gravity prevented the water from leaving the planet.
After the water flowed on Earth, continents began to appear around the same time, which scientists believe was due to the onset of plate tectonics.
Robert also recorded atmospheric climate patterns orbiting the Earth that change the planet’s terrain and seasons
Pangea, a supercontinent, existed about 300 million years ago and it started to break up into pieces that made up the continents we know today.
Robert also recorded atmospheric climate patterns that circle the Earth, changing the planet’s terrain and seasons.
‘Climate influences the distribution of life on a planet,’ says Roberts.
‘Rainfall patterns and temperature fluctuations determine the growth rate of plants.
“As the seasons change, herbivores migrate to areas with enough vegetation to sustain them.
“And as they follow the vegetation, predators follow them.”
Towards the end of Roberts’ simulation, the notions that humans have taken over the world become apparent
The once barren terrain shone with bright lights signaling a technologically advanced civilization using fossil fuels polluting the planet
Towards the end of Roberts’ simulation, the notions that humans have taken over the world become apparent.
The once barren terrain shone with bright lights signaling a technologically advanced civilization using fossil fuels polluting the planet.
“The last part is meant to illustrate a possible future, though perhaps an improbable one,” Roberts said. Motherboard.
‘I wanted it to be dramatic, so it’s an illustration of a particularly extreme outcome where literally all fossil fuels are burned, but I’ve tried to keep the effects realistic otherwise, based on scientific papers I’ve read about such’ n hypothetical .’
Earth moves beneath our feet: tectonic plates move through the mantle, producing earthquakes as they rub against each other
Tectonic plates are composed of the Earth’s crust and the upper part of the mantle.
Below is the asthenosphere: the warm, viscous conveyor belt of rock on which tectonic plates ride.
The Earth has fifteen tectonic plates (pictured) that together have shaped the landscape we see around us today
Earthquakes usually occur at the boundaries of tectonic plates, where one plate dives under another, pushes another up, or where plate edges scrape against each other.
Earthquakes rarely occur in the middle of plates, but they can occur when old fractures or fissures are reactivated far below the surface.
These areas are relatively weak compared to the surrounding plate and can easily slip and cause an earthquake.