Field of Science

The Expanding/Growing Earth

The geological model at the end of the 19th century was characterized by a static earth, slowly cooling and therefore shrinking until the molten interior became completely frozen.
The accumulating observations that continents once were connected led to the formulation of various hypotheses allowing vertical and horizontal movements of earths crust.
In the middle of the 20th century a new idea proposed that earth is in fact expanding, and the contine
nts are remnants of old crust surrounded by younger rocks generated along the mid ocean ridges, explored between 1920-1960.

In 1956 Laszlo Egyed, professor of the geophysical institute of the Eötvös-University in Budapest, based on observations of variations in the sea level, proposed that earth was constantly growing. He explained the increase in volume of the planet by modification of mineral phases in the interior, with different specific densities. A much stranger idea to explain the assumed phenomena was proposed by the German physicist Pasc
ual Jordan in 1966 - the increase of earth was imputable to the general dilatation of the space-time continuum.
Most work in the Expanding Earth/Growing Earth hypothesis was done by the German engineer Klaus Vogel, developing elaborate models of the continents fitting on a much smaller earth (20% smaller then today).

Fig.1. Warren Cray and Klaus Vogel discussing a model to illustrate the hypothesis of an Expanding Earth previous of 1988 (from OLDROYD 2007).

Influenced by the models of Vogel, the Australian geologist S. Warren Carey (1912-2002) became one of the most eminent supporters of the Expanding Earth.
The complex geology of New Guinea had convinced Carey that complex movements of earths crust were necessary to explain the structural geology of mountains. He developed a model encompassing mid ocean ridges and transform faults, but denied categorically subduction zones ("Subduction is a mythos!"), as superficial features of a very complicated cone structure, reaching down until the earth´s core.

However the Expanding Earth hypotheses failed to provide a convincing mechanism to explain a mass/volume gain, also simply measurements by satellites, as even Carey admitted, could disprove an increase in the radius of Earth ... as these data do, despite various other evidence.
Surprisingly (or maybe not) internet provided a second life to this idea...
journalist and geologist Peter Hadfield summarizes the entire case:

"Why are so many people willing to believe a nutty 19th century idea over 50 years of solid and growing evidence for plate tectonics?
Because scientists are always conspiring to keep the truth from us, of course."


OLDROYD, D.R. (2007): Die Biography der Erde. zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Geologie. Zweitausendeins-Verlag: 518


  1. When I was young, I obviously believed in continental drift and pangea. When I grew older, I began to look at things on my own. Science fails to explain why the dinosaurs were so big, or why the vegetation was bigger ... and to be perfectly honest, the entire idea of the continents are floating on a liquuid, that is moving in different direction to the inner core. Is ... ludicrous ... it defies all known mechanics. And the fact, that the continents plainly and directly fit on a smaller planet is so obvious ... that denying it, as is done by mainstream ... does not support science. Once again, as in the middle ages ... the supposed "scientists" are ignoring the obvious ... in favour of the "god element".

  2. It´s an interesting comment, however in science we shouldn´t believe in something.

    Physics, geometry and geology do not care about our feelings, it’s not a question of what we believe or want to believe, but what we can support with facts - ice floats on water (an example used by Wegener), convection will continue to transport energy trough a semi plastic (the astenosphere and mantle are not a liquid) material, GPS will continue to measure the displacement of the single plates, bones with their particular structure still can support heavy organisms on land* and improper shapess of continents do not fit together as hard as we try on a smaller globe.

    – the expanding earth theory was tested repeatedly and didn’t account for these and other observable facts, continental drift does, therefore it is a better model – but in science that’s not saying that it is true or a faith dogma.

    If somebody can propose a even better model, that explains all the facts and even those not explained by continental drift, geology again will have to adapt the new theory.

    P.S: * curiously on a smaller earth (assuming an invariant mass) the dinosaurs would be even heavier, making their size really unexplainable.

  3. Continental drift, is a question of belief. For a continental drift to occur, it requires a different movement within the earth itself. The mechanics here, are far more complicated, than those required for a growing earth.

    A dynosaur will be lighter, on a planet with lesser G. This is what it is about.

    As stated earlier, it's rediculous to deny it. We can discuss the details of it. We can argue wether the planet was actually smaller, or wether the mountains actually are the mantle "collecting" and this means the planet was not as small as previously pictured. We can discuss all this, but to deny it ... is denying the obvious.

    How did we build stonehenge.
    How did the dynosaurs grow so big.
    How did they build the pyramids.
    Why are the easter island statues, stopped in middle of it.

    The answer to all these questions, is simple ... it's not a miracle. It's not done by God ... or by billions of slaves. Earths gravity is not constant. This is the answer, that answers all these questions.

    Saying that the bone structure supports heavier bodies, is ignorance beyond all bounds. A man, growing 6 feet tall and above, will have massive bone and back problems throughout his life. Based on the fact, that he is "too" heavy for his bone structure. Despite the fact that we are eating better, and that we have better health care ... we aren't bigger ... except in the north of the planet ... where the "g" is lesser.

    Continental drift, is a denial of facts ... it's not something that supports scholars today. It's something that says, that scholars today, are somehow not as intelligent as before ...

    ... and that is a shame, because we don't need to fall back into the middle ages. With politics dictacting who can advance.

  4. Just for the record, Einstein WAS proven wrong. Physicists have been hanging their hat on the speed of light being the fastest anything could possibly travel for a century. All of their assumptions about physics relied on this principle. They proved this theory wrong only months after this video mocked the notion Einstein could have been wrong about anything. I think the narrator of this video is not only pompous; he's also on the wrong side of one of his own analogies. He's a Ptolemaic advocate railing Copernicus and Galileo (and not the other way around as he implied). His claims about the distortions in Alaska, for example, are completely irrelevant. Anyone can see with their own eyes that the continents do fit together on a sphere approximately 1/4 of the current size of the earth. How can he point to minor changes in size and shape considering the magnitude of such phenomena? The narrator sounds just like Al Gore's teacher who mocked the idea that the continents on both sides of the Atlantic once join together. That's the trouble with "scientists". Just because they can't explain something doesn’t mean it's not true. To me, the narrator’s rationale sounds more like ego than anything based on logic and sound reasoning. After all, taking leaps is how science forges ahead—it challenges notions despite lacking proof of the contrary until one day they have it.

  5. I was reading this document and a blog about the same thing when I notice that the blog copied this word for word. Here is a link,


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