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Continental Shelf Research

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A New Field of Science:

The emerging field of continental shelf prehistoric research.


5 Observations to Consider:

(1) The Continental Shelves Were Once Dry Land

Many continental shelves were once dry land. … at the peak of the most recent ice age, much of the Earth's water was frozen into huge masses of ice called glaciers. The sea level dropped, exposing continental shelves.

“Many continental shelves were created by the most recent Ice Age and were originally dry land. As the ice began to melt, and the sea level began to rise, parts of continents were submerged underwater, creating continental shelves.”  “the average depth of water over a continental shelf is around 200 feet”

(2) Cities Were Built on the Continental Shelves

“Over 3,000 submerged prehistoric occupation sites on the continental shelf are known worldwide … Sites have been found off the coast of every continent except Antarctica.”

“During the last glacial period … sea level was 300–400 ft (90–120 m) lower than present and the shoreline was much farther offshore, exposing the shelf to the atmosphere. During lowered sea level, land plants and animals, including humans and their ancestors, lived on the shelf.”

“Some of the world’s greatest mysteries are remains of cities, temples, and other man-made structures all over the world on the earth’s continental shelves below the surface of the oceans. A few are found in sites only tens of feet below the ocean surface. Others are found in places a few hundred feet deep.”

“Pavlopetri is the oldest underwater city in the world: archeologists have determined that Pavlopetri dates from Minoan times, over 5000 years ago. It is a unique treasure. Pavlopetri is important not only to the Greek people, but it is part of the cultural heritage of the entire world.”

“Submerged 80 to 100 feet (25 to 40 meters) below the surface of this human-made lake lies an ancient city frozen in time. Believed to be around 1,400 years old — though some believe certain structures are even older — the city once stood at the base of Wu Shi (Five Lion) Mountain, which is now also partially submerged.”

(3) At One Time the Polar Ice Caps Were Extended

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“… a massive sheet of ice that covered millions of square miles, including most of Canada and a large portion of the Northern United States, …”

(My note: as far south as St. Louis, MO.)

(4) Melting Ice Cap Runoff Caused Sea Levels to Rise

“Earlier research had suggested that a major ice age had caused sea levels to drop, exposing a land bridge between Europe and Africa. … Then, when the ice age ended, the sea rose again.”

“Climate change at the end of the Ice Age caused the glaciers to melt, flooding Beringia … and closing the land bridge.”

(5) Did Land Bridges Once Connect the Continents?

“When sea levels were lower …, greater areas of continental shelf were exposed as dry land, forming land bridges. At this time Australia-New Guinea was a single, continuous continent. Likewise North America and Asia were joined by the Bering land bridge. Other islands such as Great Britain were joined to the mainlands of their continents.” 

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Continental Drift Theory Proposed in 1912

Alfred Wegener proposed that the continents were once united into a single supercontinent named Pangaea, meaning all earth in ancient Greek. He suggested that Pangaea broke up long ago and that the continents then moved to their current positions. He called his hypothesis continental drift.

An Alternative Theory Was Proposed in 1920

“Land bridges could explain a lot of Wegener's evidence. Lots of Wegener's evidence for continental drift was based on things like similar fossils being found on the opposite sides of oceans and matching layers of rock on different continents. Other people had noticed this too and in 1920, scientists came up with an alternative theory to explain Wegener's evidence. They thought that there had once been land bridges linking the continents — so animals had been able to cross. The bridges had ‘sunk' or been covered over since then.”

“Some critics of Wegener's hypothesis of continental drift proposed instead that there had once been a land bridge between South America and Africa, which could have explained the fact that we find fossils of some of the same animals on both continents.”

South America and Africa

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“The strong similarities on the sauropod fauna in Africa and South America are consistent with the presumed proximity of both continents by that time. Probably, both continents were connected by a land bridge …” A land bridge connection between South America and Africa

“Continental Bridge; Evidence That South America Was Once Joined to Africa

Africa and South America probably were once joined by a broad land bridge which has since disappeared under the South Atlantic Ocean, says Dr. Kenneth E. Caster, professor of geology and fellow of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Cincinnati.  He bases his conclusions on years of intensive study along the eastern coastal areas of South America.”

North America and Asia

"According to the Land Bridge Theory, Native Americans migrated from Asia to North America across a land bridge that formed during the Ice Age."

“In 1590, the Spanish missionary Fray Jose de Acosta produced the first written record to suggest a land bridge connecting Asia to North America. The question of how people migrated to the New World was a topic widely debated among the thinkers and theorists of his time. Acosta rejected many of the theories proposed by his contemporaries. Instead, he believed that hunters from Asia had crossed into North America via a land bridge or narrow strait located far to the north. He thought the land bridge was still in existence during his lifetime.”

In 1940, George Gaylord Simpson, in a paper presented at the Sixth Pacific Science Congress, concerning continental drift stated:

“The second, which is that of Wegener, seems to me and to a consensus of geologists ill supported and improbable.”

North America and Europe

“Chinese researchers studying fossilized leaves in southern Yunnan province claim to have discovered plant evidence that Europe and North America were connected by a land bridge until ‘fairly recently’.”

“The land bridge theory suggests that Native Americans are genetically closer to Western Europeans than Asians “

Great Britain and Europe

“Doggerland was an area of land, now submerged beneath the southern North Sea, that connected Great Britain to continental Europe.”

“For most of our species’ existence, sea levels have been lower than they are today, often by hundreds of feet, exposing a continent’s worth of dry land. Archaeological sites key to understanding the human story are likely now underwater — but perhaps not lost.”

A Few Questions Come to Mind:

If the continental shelves were once dry land during the most recent ice age, which made migration possible between continents, should scientists rethink the continental drift and Pangea theories?

Could all of this be true, but continental drift and Pangea also be true?  Does one dismiss the need for the other?  Would connecting land bridges make a “Pangea” of a different sort, making it all one large continent?

In the proper use of the Scientific Method, we would consider all possible hypotheses and think of ways to test them.  We would then analyze the data and see which one fits the evidence better.  That probably will not happen in this case.

While this subject might be interesting to ponder, it is certain to face opposition.  I also do not expect it to show up in any peer-reviewed science journals any time in the near future.  Have a passion for TRUTH!  The reality of what actually happened in the past is what we all should be searching for. 

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