The theory of continental drift was proposed at the beginning of the last century by German scientist Alfred Wegener.
Before Wegener developed his theory, it was thought that mountains formed because the Earth was cooling down, and, as it cooled down, it contracted. This process formed wrinkles, or mountains, on the Earth’s crust.
If this was the case, then mountains would be spread evenly over the Earth’s surface. We know that this is not the case.
Wegener suggested that mountains formed when the edge of a drifting continent collided with another, causing it to crumple and fold. For example, the Himalayas formed when India came into contact with Asia.
It took more than 50 years for Wegener’s theory to be accepted. One of the reasons was that it was difficult to work out how whole continents could move. It was not until the 1960s that evidence of convection currents within the mantle was discovered to support the theory fully.
This slideshow explains Wegener’s theory.
What was the evidence for Wegener’s theory?