The Earth’s Shell Has Cracked, and We’re Drifting on the Pieces – The New York Times

The theory of plate tectonics is one of the great scientific advances of our age, right up there with Darwin’s theory of evolution and Einstein’s theory of relativity.The idea that Earth’s outer shell is broken up into giant puzzle pieces, or plates, all gliding atop a kind of conveyor belt of hot, weak rock — here rising up from the underlying mantle, there plunging back into it — explains much about the structure and behavior of our home planet: the mountains and ocean canyons, the earthquakes and volcanoes, the very composition of the air we breathe.

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