In a tie-up with the tourism corporation, the move comes as an attempt to raise revenues for the state
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Years ago, we chanced upon a theoretical clock that described how long Homo sapiens had walked the Earth, if all of creation was fit into 24 hours. Right from its formation in the Big Bang, to the evolution of single-celled algae, plants, and eventually the dinosaurs—mankind, it seemed, had been around for just over a minute. It’s impossible for our brains to ever grasp this passage of time, and the changes it wrought upon the landscape. A platform called Ancient Earth, however, offers a well-researched push in that direction.
Quite simply, Ancient Earth is an interactive globe that charts out the movement of tectonic plates, the sea floor, and thus, all our continents, up to the last 750 million years. With a minimalist interface, you can choose from a dropdown menu of 25 time periods for a recreation of our planet’s terrain. The most enjoyable part, of course, is typing in the name of your hometown and seeing how it’s shifted around over the years. Was it underwater and eventually pushed up by a fold mountain? Did it ring a volcano? Was it in a different hemisphere, or flanked by a glacier? We don’t know about you, but it’s coolest edutainment site we’ve seen in a while. The fact that it’s fully based on scientific data gives solid footing to our fantasies. Apart from scrolling in for detail, you can jump to critical moments in our geographic history (think ‘first coral reefs’, ‘Pannotia supercontinent’, ‘dinosaur extinction’.). Each timestamp is accompanied by a small note on the bottom left, about life in that era.
Ancient Earth is the brainchild of Ian Webster, a computer scientist and former Google engineer who used plate-tectonic visualisation software while rendering the 3D globe. To discover your past, visit the official website, or get the iOS app.
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