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The Story of Earth - National Geographic

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Transcript of The Story of Earth - National Geographic

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
The Story of Earth - National Geographic
5 Billion Years Ago
The Sun is surrounded by dust and the Earth is not formed yet. Millions of years later, gravity pulls all of the rocks and dust together, creating the newborn Earth.

4.54 BillionYears Ago
The Earth is 1200 degrees C. It is filled with carbon dioxide and nitrogen, making it toxic. If we were on the planet at this time, we would sufficate or be burned to death by lava. Later on, a planet crashes into Earth, sending sonic waves around the two planets. Over 1000 years later, gravity pulls the rubble back together and forms our moon. Finally, the Earth starts to cool and lava hardens.
3.9 billion Years Ago
Debris from the solar system attacks Earth. The meteors contain small amounts of water. The water from the meteors starts to create pools which will later help form the crust of the Earth. A mega storm is caused by the moon's gravitational pull. The moon was so close to the Earth that it moved huge waves, causing a hurricane. Eventually, the moon moves away from the Earth, the tides decrease in size and islands emerge from the water.
Continued
Some of the islands are volcanic and start erupting. When they erupt, CO2 is released. This gas, when in Earth's atmosphere, heats up the planet tremendously. The temperature on Earth is scorching. Nothing could survive at this time. Another meteor shower hits Earth, along with more water. The Earth's temperature then cools a small amount. Some of the water seeps down into the lava and picks up minerals on the way. The water becomes a chemical soup and creates microscopic life.
3.5 Billion Years Ago
Ocean plants begin to grow out of the sea bed. They begin to turn sunlight into food, a process called photosynthesis. Another product of this process is oxygen, one of the essential elements for life. Over 2 billion years later, the oxygen levels continue to rise and the days become longer. The core starts to push the plates around; the planet is active now. The temperature becomes 30 degrees C and the days are 18 hours long.
750 Million Years Ago
The heat from under the crust starts to crack the crust, splitting it into several sections. Volcanoes form and carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, which combines with water to form acid rain. The rain causes the temperature to drop and the Earth becomes a frozen wasteland. The layer of ice reflects the sun and sends the heat back into space. Even though the crust is frozen, the core is still burning.
Snowball Earth
The earth does not have enough carbon dioxide to trap the heat from the Sun. Volcanoes start to pop up and release CO2 into the atmosphere. Because of the CO2, the temperature rises and the ice starts to melt. The oceans return because of all of the stored water in the ice. The hydrogen peroxide that was in the ice releases oxygen.
600 Million Years Ago
The Earth is even hotter than it was before. Bacteria is growing in the ocean now because of warmer temperatures.
540 Million Years Ago
The bacteria have evolved into "prehistoric slugs." Some of the species have vertebrae, or a backbone. The ocean is also populated with worms, sponges, plants, and "sea monsters." The Sun has deadly radiation. When the oxygen from our atmosphere and the radiation from the sun meet, they form ozone. The Earth's ozone layer accumulates over time and eventually stops the radiation.
Continued...
Life can now thrive on Earth. Plants and many forms of animals start to pop up. The plants use photosynthesis to create oxygen. Over time, our atmosphere becomes rich with oxygen.
375 Million
Years Ago
Fish are in the oceans and are rapidly evolving. Soon they can walk on land and will eventually stay there for good. Dragonflies are the size of eagles, and there are plenty of millipedes, spiders and arthropods. Lizards become the first to lay their eggs outside of the water. When plants die, they accumulate on the crust. Lava and other forms of rock pile on top of them and begin to form the coal we use today.
250 Million
Years Ago
The small lizards have become gigantic reptiles. The Earth is erupting and molten rock seaps through fissures in the ground. This period of time is also called the Permian Extinction. Ash falls and kills animals all over the world. Acid rain comes again and CO2 levels rise as well. The atmosphere becomes hotter and water begins to evaporate.
Continued...
The plants that depended on the water die and the animals who depended on the plants die. The ash that fell into the oceans turns them pink, a.k.a. red tide. Algae is thriving because of the minerals that are found in the ash. Methane, or Greenhouse gas, is escaping from the crust. The temperature rises even more and lava continues to flow from volcanoes.
200 Million Years Ago
Pangea, the super continent, is still in one mass. The temperature is stabilizing, which allows the plant life to return. Dinosaurs are thriving and nothing is challenging their dominance. These dinosaurs evolved from the small reptiles that survived the disaster in the previous years. The Earth's plates begin to move a small amount.
190 Million Years Ago
Pangea, the super-continent, breaks up. Fish are returning to the oceans. The dead fish begin to layer the seafloor and over time are covered with rock. The pressure from the rock heats and squeezes the fish, which creates fossils and oil.
180 Million Years Ago
The North American plate is moving away from the European plate at a rapid speed. It is moving 2 centimeters each year and eventually forms the Atlantic Ocean, the border between Europe and the Americas. Animals from all over are populating the new ocean.
65 Million Years Ago
Dinosaurs are thriving without threat on Earth. An asteroid is heading towards the Gulf of Mexico at a very fast speed. The asteroid hits the Earth and destroys everything in its path. The energy is equal to the power of many nuclear weapons. The land is completely destroyed. Later, a meteor shower hits and causes much damage along with earthquakes and tsunamis. The surface reaches 275 degrees C and the plants die along with the animals who eat them. Mammals survived by living underground and eating almost anything.
Continued...
The Earth becomes a peaceful planet. The mammals' descendants are monkeys and live near lakes. These lakes release noxious gas that kills them, but preserves the monkeys in the lake. We will later find them as fossils.
47 Million Years Ago
It is 24 degrees C and the days are about 24 hours. This planet is almost as we know it now. India is moving toward Asia and the plates cause a buckle in the land when they collide. This buckle is called the Himalayan Mountains and is home to the tallest peak in the world, Mt. Everest. When the snow from the mountain range melts, it forms rivers and soon many of the famous Asian rivers we know are formed.
20 Million Years Ago
It is our planet as we know it but there is one thing missing: humans. A rift opens up on the East coast of Africa which forms into a range of mountains. These mountains block rain from reaching the center of the continent and the Sahara Desert is formed. Our ape ancestors are forced to walk on two feet instead of four in search of food.
1.5 Million Years Ago
The earliest species of humans is on the planet. They walk on two feet and don't drag their knuckles.
70 Thousand Years Ago
A latter species of humans crosses the Red Sea. Their population increases and they spread to other parts of the world.
40 Thousand Years Ago
An ice wall is coming and the temperature drops incredibly. The ice "sculpts" the Earth, forming all sorts of land and water features.
20 Thousand Years Ago
A land bridge is formed between Siberia and the Americas. The humans travel over the bridge and start populating North America.
14 Thousand Years Ago
The ice begins to retreat to the Artics and the Great Lakes are formed in the process.
6 Thousand Years Ago
The ice has fully retreated and is now completely in the Arctics.
Now
We, the humans, are fully evolved and live in the world as we know it.
By: Mallory Baus
Full transcript