2014-03-04    How to walk from Australia to China!

On my flight back from Australia to Hong Kong at the end of January, I saw one episode of a fascinating BBC documentary Rise of the Continents. 250 million years ago, the continents we know today were concentrated into a single giant landmass, Pangaea, surrounded by an immense ocean, Panthalassa.

But about 200 million years ago, this supercontinent started to break apart: new ocean basins were formed, mountains rocketed skywards and over millions of years, seven new landmasses were created, our continents.

The episode I saw was about Australia. It showed how Australia used to be joined to Antarctica, but then started drifting north ....and is continuing to drift. In fact, millions of years in the future, Australia is going to steamroll Indonesia, and eventually merge with Vietnam and China, side-swiping Japan in the process!

This means that Australia will be joined to China, and people will be able to walk in a few minutes from Australia to China!  This is not good news for the international airlines (which by then will be using spaceships?). Nor is it good news for Hong Kong which might by then be compressed onto a mountain top somewhere in Guangdong!?
This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "the return of Hong Kong to China"!