How Old is the Earth?
According to scientists, the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
The actual age of the earth has perplexed mankind since times immemorial. In the ancient times, there were numerous theories regarding the age of the earth. These ranged from the earth being as old as humankind to the one that suggested that the earth began sometime around the Trojan War.
However, with the advent of technology, scientists came to the conclusion that the earth was much older than humankind and was formed some 4.5 billion years ago. It is basically due to the efforts of a Dutch anatomist and geologist, Nicholas Steno, that we today know the approximate age of the earth. He was among the first naturalists to realize the link between fossil remains and strata. He stated that by sifting through layers of rock, geologists will be able to learn about the history of the earth. These rocks, which provide a background chronology of the earth, have been laid down over many centuries.
The earth in its initial years was very different from the one we live in today.
The land that makes up the seven continents and the numerous islands that comprise the earth’s surface were clustered into one huge landmass. The landmass, known as Pangea, existed some 225 million years ago, and included dinosaurs. Over more time, due to tectonic movements, Pangea broke apart into two different landmasses – Gondwanaland and Laurasia.
Of these two landmasses, Gondwanaland was much bigger covering an area of 39,000,000 square miles or roughly 64 percent of the modern continents. Gondwanaland included Africa, Antarctica, South America, and Australia. Laurasia included Asia, Europe, and North America. Some 150 million years ago, these two landmasses further broke apart, and slowly began to drift into the positions they now occupy.
The past 65 million years witnessed most of the continents taking up their current positions. One the most ‘recent’ actions was the Indian subcontinent collided with Asia. The massive impact of the collision led to the creation of the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world.