Would you like to know what dinosaurs roamed your garden millions of years ago? You don’t even need a time machine, on this fun interactive website you can see the Earth in 3D and see what the planet looked like up to 750 million years ago at key moments in history.
The Ancient Earth site, developed by Discord head Ian Webster, also lets you plug in any city or town and look back at its location at a particular time, as well as nearby fossils, Futurism reported.
If you enter New York, for example, and travel back 750 million years ago, the map takes you to the Cryogenian period, when some scientists believe the planet was mostly covered by glaciers. A red dot indicates the relative location of the city, which was once located in the approximate center of the supercontinent Rodinia.
In the case of New York, for example, the site explains that fossils found in the area include a bipedal dinosaur called a grallator from the Cretaceous period and a winged giant called a pteranodon from the late Cretaceous period.
We can also “travel” to notable first events in the history of the planet, such as the appearance of the first green algae, the first insects or the first dinosaurs.
Back in 2018, Webster developed the interactive globe for The Dinosaur Database, which was advertised as “the largest dinosaur database on the Internet.” He based this on software called GPlates, which allows the manipulation of the planet’s plate tectonics through different time periods.
“It’s amazing that geologists have collected enough data to actually map my home 750 million years ago,” Webster said when he first released the site to the public.
In addition to the interactivity, it is also amazing that the website conveys that we humans occupy an infinitesimal slice of the geological timeline, which puts everything in a completely different perspective.