This animated documentary by Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shattuck tells the story of polar explorer Alfred Wegener, the unlikely scientist behind continental drift theory.
Lichtman and Shattuck have written some text to accompany the film at the New York Times:
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Just as biology tells us about the origin of life, geology tells how our physical world came to be. The field explains how the mountains and rivers, oceans and shores were born. Surprisingly, one of the first people to propose one of the most important theories in geology, continental drift — the idea that the continents were once pressed together and have since drifted apart — wasn’t a geologist at all.
In this film, we celebrate Alfred Wegener, who studied astronomy, worked as an atmospheric physicist, and seemed happiest exploring Greenland on grueling multiyear expeditions. How did someone with no training in geology come up with a theory that is now central to earth science?