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Alfred Wegener #OnThisDay

On 6th of February 1912 the Geophysicist and meteorologist Alfred Wegener put forward his continental drift theory in a lecture at the Geological Association (Geologischen Vereinigung) at the Senckenberg-Museum, Frankfurt.

Prof. Dr. Alfred Wegener

Mainstream scientists at the time rejected his ideas.

He proposed that Earth must have once been a single supercontinent before breaking up to form several different continents. This explained how similar rock formations and plant and animal fossils could exist on separated continents. Modern science recognizes this ancient supercontinent called Pangaea did exist before breaking up about 200 million years ago, as Wegener theorized. 

Live Science

Born in Berlin 1880, Wegener, was a polar explorer and from 1908 he was was a lecturer in meteorology, applied astronomy and cosmic physics at the University of Marburg. He served in World War I but was injured and so was assigned to the German army’s weather service.

After the war he continued his polar explorations in Greenland. He died there in 1930.

The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, was established in 1980 on Wegener’s centenary. It awards the Wegener Medal in his name. The crater Wegener on the Moon and the crater Wegener on Mars, as well as the asteroid 29227 Wegener and the peninsula where he died in Greenland (Wegener Peninsula near Ummannaq, 71°12′N 51°50′W), are named after him.

The European Geosciences Union sponsors an Alfred Wegener Medal & Honorary Membership “for scientists who have achieved exceptional international standing in atmospheric, hydrological or ocean sciences, defined in their widest senses, for their merit and their scientific achievements.” Wikipedia

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