Since it was formed 4.55 billion years ago, our Earth has been subjected to incredibly powerful forces. Around its molten core, the earth’s crust is in perpetual evolution, tirelessly redesigning the map of the continents and oceans. The continents and their attributes—mountains, deep rifts and unknown underground spaces—are not set in splendour for all eternity. Far from being unchanging landmarks, they are born, expand and succumb to the assault of time, like living beings. The continents join together and separate, victims of collision and subduction—movements we perceive through earthquakes and tsunamis. The history of the continents is part of the “tectonic waltz” of land and sea—a concept as important to the history of the Earth as Darwin’s theory is to the evolution of Man.