How The Earth Looked Like 600 Million Years Ago

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 14:44

Developers of Northern Arizona University have created a website called “Ancient Earth Globe”, which displays a rotating Earth suspended in a star-filled universe.

The animation allows users to travel back in time as far back as the Ediacaran Period, 600 million years ago – when multicellular life was only just starting to appear in the world's oceans – through to the present day, stopping off in the Devonian Period and Jurassic Period along the way. Each time zone comes with a small summary explaining what was happening at the time, IFL Science reports.

If you want to see what the Earth looked like when insects first appeared on the scene or the dinosaurs met their sticky end, you can. The developers also included a second drop-down menu that lets users jump to a particular event, for example, "the first coral reefs" or "Pangea supercontinent".

The globe was created by Ian Webster, a computer scientist working for the asteroid database Asterank in Mountain View, California, whose love of ancient history and geology inspired him to create an interactive tool to help youngsters conceptualize what the Earth looked like at various points during its long history.

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