Shifting Poles

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Shifting Poles

One interpretation of the polar shift hypothesis

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Some people believe that the Earth's North and South poles weren't always located whe­re they are now. They believe the Earth once rotated on a different axis. Others say that the Earth always rotated about its polar axis, but that the Earth's crust shifts so that the land located at each pole changes. Climate change, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions result from stresses on the Earth's crust during the shift. Some claim that the Earth will soon experience another dramatic polar shift, and that, as a result, entire continents might sink while new ones emerge from the sea.

The polar shift hypothesis enters the world of conspiracy theories when some claim that top governments and scientists know of the impending shift but refuse to share the information with the public. Supposedly, they're keeping it a secret to avoid causing a panic. Skeptics dismiss polar shift hypotheses, saying that there's no real scientific basis for them.

The Earth's true poles aren't the same as its magnetic poles, which are definitely shifting. The North Magnetic Pole is moving slowly northwest across the northern stretches of Canada. This means that if you took two trips 10 years apart to the North Magnetic Pole by following a compass, you'd end up at a different destination each time.

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