eli5 why was Pangea one solid land mass


Pangea is often depicted as a single land mass ‘surrounded’ by water albeit with a few great lakes (or would they be seas). Curious if there is a reason for this

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Curious if there’s a reason it’s depicted as a single land mass or curious if there’s a reason it was a single land mass?


Pangea formed due to the migration of continental plates (the regions of the crust that float on the liquid mantle), there is no reason ‘why’ the higher land masses collided and joined together to form a super continent, they just move around with the edges becoming eroded and new material forming all the time, eventually some of them will merge.

It is worth noting that the continent that now makes up most of China never joined Pangea.

As an aside, I believe that lakes are fresh water and seas are saltwater.

OK so this is pretty simple. You know how all the continents are moving? Eventually the motions will have them running into each other. There’s only so much space and eventually they end up in one big land mass pushed up against each other. It is like watching a bouncing square screen saver hit the corner, it just happens by chance.

Pangea is not th3 first super continent, but because of erosion and the changing face of the world we only know of a few of them. Pangea is recent in terms of the earth, but it’s not special or unique. The oldest one we know of was rodinia about a billion years ago. There might have been older ones but we don’t have a lot of evidence left to establish them. Pangea is only 200 to 300 million years back, much younger. It will happen again as well.

Also pangea wasn’t the only land mass at the time, it’s a supercontinent because it had a huge proportion, not all of the land.