The Appalachian Mountains as the "Wreck of the World"

The great Appalachian Mountains, which run from York River back of these Colonies to the Bay of Mexico, show in many Places near the highest Parts of them, Strata of Sea Shells, in some Places the Marks of them are in the solid Rocks. 'Tis certainly the Wreck of a World we live on!


Such changes in the superficial parts of the globe seemed to me unlikely to happen, if the earth were solid to the centre. I therefore imagined, that the internal parts might be a fluid more dense, and of greater specific gravity than any of the solids we are acquainted with, which therefore might swim in or upon that fluid. Thus the surface of the globe would be a shell, capable of being broken and disordered by the violent movements of the fluid on which it rested.


July 1747, Ben Franklin wrote to Jared Eliot, a Connecticut clergyman about the Appalachian mountains, where he found sea shells mixed in with the dirt and concluded that the mountains were the Earth after a cataclysm.

Folksonomies: founding fathers natural history mountains earthquakes earth science

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 The works of Benjamin Franklin
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Franklin, Benjamin (1840), The works of Benjamin Franklin, Retrieved on 2012-01-06
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