On November 1, 1880, geologist Alfred Wegener was born in Berlin, Germany. Wegener was one of the earliest advocates of the theory of continental drift. Continental drift is the movement (“drift”) of continents across Earth’s surface.Many scientists and cartographers had noticed that the landmasses of the planet fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle—the most noticeable example probably being the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa.Wegener searched for evidence that these continents were once united, and had “drifted” apart. To do this, he sampled rock strata and fossils from either side of the Atlantic Ocean. The material collected from both continents was similar—too similar to have developed independently.
 
Wegener’s theory of continental drift was ultimately supported by the more robust theory of plate tectonics, which developed in the mid 20th century.
Noun

edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

Noun

one of the seven main land masses on Earth.

Noun

the movement of continents resulting from the motion of tectonic plates.

plate tectonics
Noun

movement and interaction of the Earth's plates.

robust
Adjective

healthy and strong.

strata
Plural Noun

(singular: stratum) layers of rock or other materials.