What is Pangea?


With our book release day right around the corner, (October 29th! Yay!) the last few weeks we have been receiving feedback from our ARC team and Beta readers. I realized that not many people know what Pangea is. I was recently discussing Champ and Nessie with a colleague, she said and I quote, “Ohhhh, I thought Pangea was a made up place that you created!” And my response to that was, “Well, you are not the only one who doesn’t know what Pangea is, so don’t feel bad.” If I am being honest, when Zeb first told me his idea for the story, I didn’t remember what Pangea was either! I can’t remember Earth Science from the 4th grade!

In the end papers of our book, Champ and Nessie, I included a map of Pangea, then and now, and a few facts about the evolution of our planet, specifically the breaking up of Pangea. I talked about Pangea briefly on our Instagram page, but wanted to give it the spotlight here on Champ and Nessie. It is after all, where our story takes place.

Pangaea or Pangea is the name given to the supercontinent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras, before the process of plate tectonics separated each of the component continents into their current configuration. There were three major phases in the break-up of Pangea, but it is a bit too complicated for me to get into all those details. You can always check out Wikipedia if you are into dates and eras! I will link below.

About 300 million years ago, Earth didn’t have seven continents, but instead one massive supercontinent, Pangea, which was surrounded by a single ocean called Panthalassa. Over the course of the planet’s 3.5 billion-year history, several supercontinents have formed and broken up, a result of churning and circulation in the Earths Mantle, which makes up most of planet’s volume. This breakup and formation of supercontinents has dramatically altered the planet’s physique, so to speak.

For approximately 160 million years Pangaea existed, many species did well, whereas others struggled. When Pangaea separated, the reorganization of the continents changed the function of the oceans and seaways. The restructuring of the continents, changed and altered the distribution of warmth and coolness of the oceans. As a result, the climate changed. The collisions between the continental plates formed the greatest mountain ranges in the history of the our planet!

As the story of C&N evolved I became very intrigued about Pangea. I started reading articles and researching continental drift. Who knew that that the Hudson Palisades in New York and New Jersey were once apart of Pangea? I am closer to Pangea than I thought! Manhattan Island and now the tree hidden Palisades on the New Jersey shore on the Hudson River, were once touching West Africa. I found that so interesting, as a native New Yorker.

I hope you enjoy discovering (or re-discovering) Pangea. It really is amazing what our planet has evolved into. Fun fact, the break-up of Pangaea continues today! But that is another story, for another day.