This article on Viewzone proposes that the Earth used to be smaller, and the existing continents fitted neatly together, covering the entire globe with land. As the Earth expanded, the oceans formed, pushing the continents apart.

Shortly after Wegener's continental drift theory was introduced, many people tried to piece together the continents. Some pieces (like South America and Africa) were an obvious fit, but others did not fit together because of the belief that a vast ocean had to be accommodated in the models. Sam Carey, an Australian, dared to solve the puzzle without an ocean and found that the continents fit together perfectly.

The claim is also presented as a neat animation.

The article goes on to claim that the center of the Earth is formed of plasma, and that gravity has increased.

Is this idea supported by the evidence?


2 Answers 2


Most consequences of this theory are consistent with those predicted by the plate model -- the remaining ones are gravity acceleration on the surface (g) changes and actual measurements.

The first one is hard to judge since the expanding Earth community cannot decide on one version -- some postulate that the matter is in some magical way created inside the planet and thus g increases with time (which is consistent with giraffes being smaller than dinosaurs, but is a total nonsense from a view of physics), some try to rescue physics saying that Earth just used to be much more dense -- yet this makes g actually decrease, what invalidates this "biological proof". Finally some claim that the gravitational constant increases with time to counteract this, but this is even less probable than a spontaneous mass creation.

About measurements, there were some works in which authors were summing up some current and archival measurements around some contour placed on Earth to imply that it is growing -- however this was verified using state-of-art measuring techniques and was invalidated.

There are obviously many more proofs that this idea is wrong, as listed by the Wikipedia page for 'Expanding Earth' (emphasis mine):

The theory had never developed a plausible and verifiable mechanism of action, but neither had any of its competing theories.[1] By the late 1970s the theory of plate tectonics made all other theories obsolete following the discovery of subduction, which was found to be an important part of a mechanism of action.[1]

Generally, the scientific community finds that there is no evidence in support of the Expanding Earth theory, and there is evidence against it:

  • Measurements with modern high-precision geodetic techniques show that the Earth is not currently increasing in size to within a measurement accuracy of 0.2 mm per year.[14] The lead author of the study stated "Our study provides an independent confirmation that the solid Earth is not getting larger at present, within current measurement uncertainties".[15] The motions of tectonic plates and subduction zones measured by a large range of geological, geodetic and geophysical techniques supports plate tectonics.[16, 17, 18]

  • Mass accretion on a scale required to change the Earth's radius is contradicted by the current accretion rate of the Earth, and by the Earth's average internal temperature: any accretion releases a lot of energy, which would warm the planet's interior. Expanding Earth models based on thermal expansion contradict most modern principles from rheology, and fail to provide an acceptable explanation for the proposed melting and phase transitions. The value of g (the Earth's gravitational attraction) is known and would change considerably with any such gains in the Earth's mass or volume, along with the Earths orbit around the Sun.

  • Paleomagnetic data has been used to calculate that the radius of the Earth 400 million years ago was 102 ± 2.8% of today's radius.[19, 20]

  • Examinations of data from the Paleozoic and Earth's moment of inertia suggest that there has been no significant change of earth's radius in the last 620 million years.[21]


Technically, the answer to the title question ("Was the Earth originally smaller and ocean-free") is "yes".

  • By the current scientific consensus as I understand it, at one point, the earth was molten, and had no oceans.
  • By the current scientific consensus as I understand it, the moon we have now is the result of another planet striking the earth messily, leaving much of itself behind. We've also gotten the occasional meteor contribution. Plus, the slow addition of water and ice to the cooling earth would have added some volume of its own.

Thus, it's likely that the earth was initially smaller and ocean-free... but not in the way or to the degree in which he means.

  • "but not in the way or to the degree in which he means." This isn't really an answer then.
    – user11643
    Oct 12, 2018 at 0:57
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    You seem to be answering different claim. This claim is that the current continental land-masses used to cover the entire Earth. "Some of this may well be correct" is a misleading conclusion. "This entire conjecture has no foundation" might be closer.
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 12, 2018 at 2:27
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    You are tackling a strawman. The title isn't the complete claim - it is just a summary.
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 12, 2018 at 13:28
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    The claim is not only that the earth was smaller, but that it expanded and got bigger. The claim is putting forth an idea that is very different from what you explain in your answer. I understand what you're saying, and it is true, but it doesn't answer if the earth is expanding. If you feel this still needs to be said, it should be in conjunction with answering the "expanding earth" claim, or as a comment.
    – user11643
    Oct 12, 2018 at 14:42
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    You can simply reference mbq's answer and repeat "no, it's not expanding, but it actually was smaller at one point". I won't upvote that answer, however, because it doesn't really add anything of significance (down vote not from me, but I'd remove it if you did at least that). Alternatively, delete this and make a comment with the same information.
    – user11643
    Oct 12, 2018 at 14:43

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