News of the WeekGeophysics

Did the Dinosaurs Live on a Topsy-Turvy Earth?

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Science  21 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5452, pp. 406-407
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5452.406

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On page 455 of this issue of Science, two researchers report evidence that 84 million years ago the whole Earth rolled like a ball, turning 15° to 20° in a couple of million years. This "true polar wander," so called because the geographic poles could actually travel across the globe, would move land and sea 10 times faster than continental drift ever has. If it is real, it may be symptomatic of unusual turmoil within the deep interior of Earth.