When German meteorologist Alfred Wegener first proposed his groundbreaking theory of continental displacement, later called continental drift, in 1912, his geologist peers rejected his theory because the field of geology at the turn of the century was based in 18th- and 19th-century observations about the nature of the earth and the planet's development. Wegener's theory of continental drift proposed that the enormous landmasses slowly moved on the earth's surface over millions of years. His idea explained countless observations made about the earth, from how the continents formed, to what causes earthquakes, to how the earth's surface continues to change. An itinerant explorer, Wegener traveled around the world, and he died while on a polar mission in Greenland. It wasn't until decades after his death that the continental drift theory proved fruitful to other scientists in the 20th century. In "Alfred Wegener", learn how this daring adventurer pieced together a theory that later revolutionized the Earth sciences.
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