Sometimes scientists spend their time riding in a hot air balloon, driving a dog sled, hunting seals, traveling on Greenland ice masses, flying box kites in the cold arctic evenings, and thinking about jigsaw puzzles on a planetary scale… and sometimes scientific discoveries come from a scientist who is exploring outside of his or her scientific field. This is the story about a scientist that embraced all of these things…

In 1912, polar explorer and meteorologist Alfred Wegener first proposed the concept of continental drift, the geological theory that continents were once connected and had somehow spread apart across the Earth’s surface over time. Animated Life: Pangea illustrates Wegener’s dedication to this idea, which is also the origin story of the theory of plate tectonics.

A science-focused series of beautiful paper puppet videos by Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shattuck, “Animated Life” is presented by HHMI BioInteractive and The New York Times. Lichtman and Shattuck also made Animated Life: Seeing the Invisible, The Animated Life of A.R. Wallace, and Whale Fall (After Life of a Whale). Be sure to watch those next.

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