Bobby is an adventurous boy from Los Angeles, California. One day while playing outside in his yard, Bobby felt a shaking coming from the ground. He wondered what would have caused this event, so Bobby went searching for answers.
Bobby went to the local museum (The Natural History Museum, Los Angeles) to look for more information, where he met a geologist, Dr. Scott.
"Excuse me." Bobby said. "Do you know anything about the 'shaking of the earth'?"
"Why it just so happens that I do. I am Dr. Scott, the museum's geologist. I study the Earth."
"How lucky of me to run into you! My name is Bobby."
Dr. Scott began to explain to Bobby about the reason for the 'earth shaking'.
"The Earth is made up of gigantic slabs of rock called tectonic plates." Said Dr. Scott. "These plates shift around and collide with each other. When you felt the 'earth shaking', it was actually two plates rubbing against each other, causing an earthquake."
Satisfied with the information he got, Bobby thanked Dr. Scott and went home.
Bobby's second Adventure: Continents
Bobby has two penpals: one in Brazil and the other in Angola. For Bobby's birthday, they both coincidentally sent him a fossilized bone from a prehistoric animal called a Cynognathus. This was very surprising to Bobby. Not only did he receive the same gift from both pen pals, but they also live on different continents.
Bobby thought very hard trying to figure out how the same prehistoric creature could end up on two separate continents. There were no ships or planes that could carry the animals across the oceans. It was also too far a distance to swim.
The next stop was the museum.
Bobby found Dr. Scott looking at some maps.
"What are all the lines on the map for?" asked Bobby.
"You see." Said Dr. Scott. "Those lines represent the plate boundaries. There are seven main plates. Two of them caused the earthquake you felt before."
Bobby remembered the reason he came to Dr. Scott in the first place.
"Dr. Scott, today I received two birthday presents from my penpals. One from Africa, the other South America. They both sent me fossilized bones from the same species of animals. How could the same prehistoric animal be on both continents?"
"Many millions of years ago, there was only one large land mass." Began Dr. Scott. "This land was called Pangaea. Over time, the mass broke up into smaller peices. They shifted around and formed the modern day continents."
"So the continents plowed through the tectonic plates to their current destinations? Like a ship through ice?"
"Close. That is what Alfred Wagener, a scientis in the early 20th century thought. The continents are connected to the plates of the earth. At the plate boundaries, they are either pulling away from each other, or pushing against. The whole continent moves with the plate."
"What about the fossils?" Bobby asked again.
"During the time of Pangaea, Africa and South America were next to one and other. If you look closely at a world map, the continents fit somewhat together like a puzzle." Said Dr. Scott.
The Cynognathus roamed between Africa and South America when they were one land. Since then, the continents have spread apart which is why the fossils are so far apart. Many other species of plants and animals have been divided in this way.
Bobby had many more adventures with Dr. Scott. He later learned about the Earth's atmosphere and the importance of the greenhouse effect, which is most commonly mistaken as a bad phenomenon.