In the distant future, America and Antarctica could collide, forming together into one ‘supercontinent’ along with the other continents of our planet.
It’s part of a natural cycle, scientists say, where the tectonic plates come together into a supercontinent, which then breaks up again.
The last time it happened, a supercontinent known as ‘Pangaea’ formed about 310 million years ago, before breaking up about 180 million years ago.
In about 250 million years time, it will happen again, say researchers from Bangor University, writing for The Conversation.
The future continent could take several shapes: Novopangea, Pangea Ultima, Aurica and Amasia.
In the Amasia scenario, for instance, a collision would see North and South America joining together – and the Arctic Ocean disappearing as Asia joins the Americas, all caused by Earth’s ‘tectonic plates’ moving.
The researchers say that they believe that Novopangaea is the the most likely.
The researchers write, ‘If we assume that present day conditions persist, so that the Atlantic continues to open and the Pacific keeps closing, we have a scenario where the next supercontinent forms in the antipodes of Pangea.
‘The Americas would collide with the northward drifting Antarctica, and then into the already collided Africa-Eurasia.
‘The supercontinent that would then form has been named Novopangea, or Novopangaea.