Oceans have played a vital role in the history of the earth, providing a home for countless species and a means of transportation for humans and wildlife alike. But when did these vast bodies of water first begin to form? There are several theories as to when oceans first started to form, each with its own set of evidence. Let’s take a closer look at these theories and explore when oceans first began to form.
12.5 Mya: The Start of Oceans
The earliest evidence of the start of ocean formation dates back to 12.5 million years ago (Mya). This was during the Cenozoic era, which began after the extinction of the dinosaurs. It was during this period that the Earth’s surface began to cool, allowing for the formation of oceans.
At this time, the continents were still largely connected, but were beginning to break apart due to tectonic forces. This allowed for the formation of shallow seas, which were the first steps in the formation of oceans. At this time, the oceans were much warmer and more shallow than they are today, but they were the start of what would eventually become the vast oceans we know today.
3800 Mya: Ancient Oceans
The next significant period in the formation of oceans dates back to around 3800 Mya. This was during the Archean era, which saw the formation of the first life on Earth. It was during this period that the first oceans began to form, as the continents broke apart due to tectonic forces.
At this time, the oceans were much more shallow than they are today, and they were filled with a variety of primitive life forms. This was the start of the oceans we know today, and it was during this period that the first forms of complex life began to emerge.
285 Mya: Modern Oceans
The most recent period in the formation of oceans dates back to around 285 Mya. This was during the Permian period, which saw the formation of the modern continents. It was during this period that the oceans began to take their modern shape, as the continents broke apart and began to drift apart.
At this time, the oceans were much deeper than they are today, and they were filled with a variety of complex life forms. This was the start of the modern oceans, and it was during this period that the first forms of complex marine life began to emerge.
The formation of oceans has been an ongoing process throughout the
The oceans have been a major feature of the Earth’s surface for billions of years, but how long ago did the formation of the oceans begin? Recent research has revealed that the oceans began to form approximately 12.5 million years ago (Mya), 137 Mya, 285 Mya, and 3800 Mya.
The first evidence of oceans formating on Earth dates back to 12.5 Mya. This period is known as the Hadean Eon and is believed to be the time at which the Earth began to cool down enough to allow for the formation of liquid oceans and continents. During this eon, the Earth’s atmosphere was likely dominated by carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and other gases, with only trace amounts of oxygen. The first evidence of life on Earth also dates back to this era, with simple single-celled microorganisms inhabiting the primitive ocean.
Earth’s oldest seafloor rocks are estimated to have been formed around 137 Mya. By this time, the oceans had evolved to become much more complex and oxygen-rich, allowing for the emergence of more complex forms of life.
At 285 Mya, the earliest evidence of marine animal life appear in the fossil record. During this Paleozoic era, an array of bizarre creatures such as coral reefs, corals, and conodonts evolved. Additionally, the earliest fossil record of plants, insects, and animals living on land dates back to this period, indicating that land animals were beginning to emerge around this time.
By 3800 Mya, the Earth’s marine environment had become densely populated. This era, known as the Neoproterozoic, saw the emergence of a wide range of marine animals including trilobites, brachiopods, and early fishes.
In summary, the formation of the oceans began 12.5 Mya and since then, a complex and diverse marine environment has slowly evolved. Through the process of evolution, the oceans have been home to countless species and played a vital role in the emergence of life on our planet.