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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第261期:大地在移动(15)

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Pick up a pebble from a Massachusetts beach, and its nearest kin will now be in Africa. The Scottish Highlands and much of Scandinavia are substantially American. Some of the Shackleton Range of Antarctica, it is thought, may once have belonged to the Appalachians of the eastern U.S. Rocks, in short, get around.
在马萨诸塞州的海滩拾起一块石头,你会发现它最近的亲属如今在非洲。苏格兰高地以及斯堪的纳维亚半岛的很多地区,有相当部分属于美洲。据认为,南极洲的沙克尔顿山脉的有些地区可能一度属于美国东部的阿巴拉契亚山脉。总之,岩石是会来来往往的。
The constant turmoil keeps the plates from fusing into a single immobile plate. Assuming things continue much as at present, the Atlantic Ocean will expand until eventually it is much bigger than the Pacific. Much of California will float off and become a kind of Madagascar of the Pacific. Africa will push northward into Europe, squeezing the Mediterranean out of existence and thrusting up a chain of mountains of Himalayan majesty running from Paris to Calcutta.
由于连续不断的动荡,这些板块不会合成一个静止的板块。如果大体上按照目前的情况发展下去,大西洋最终会比太平洋大得多。加利福尼亚州的很大一部分将漂离大陆,成为太平洋里的马达加斯加岛。非洲将朝北向欧洲推进,把地中海挤出局去,在巴黎和加尔各答之间隆起一座雄伟的喜马拉雅山脉。
古地球版块Australia will colonize the islands to its north and connect by some isthmian umbilicus to Asia. These are future outcomes, but not future events. The events are happening now. As we sit here, continents are adrift, like leaves on a pond. Thanks to Global Positioning Systems we can see that Europe and North America are parting at about the speed a fingernail grows—roughly two yards in a human lifetime. If you were prepared to wait long enough, you could ride from Los Angeles all the way up to San Francisco. It is only the brevity of lifetimes that keeps us from appreciating the changes. Look at a globe and what you are seeing really is a snapshot of the continents as they have been for just one-tenth of 1 percent of the Earth's history.
澳大利亚将与北面的海岛连成一片,隔着一条狭长的地峡与亚洲相望。这些都是未来的结果,不是未来的事情。事情现在已在发生。我们在这里坐着的时候,大陆正在漂动,就像池塘里的一片叶子那样。多亏有了全球定位系统,我们可以看到欧洲和北美洲正以指甲生长的速度──大约以人的一生两米的速度──渐渐远离。要是你愿意久等的话,你可以从洛杉矶一直乘到旧金山。只是因为人的寿命太短,我们才无法享受这种变化。要是你看一眼地球仪,你看到的其实只是一张快照,记录着大陆在地球史的千分之一时间里的状态。
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global ['gləubəl]
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adj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的
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brevity ['breviti]
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n. 短暂,简短,简洁
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fingernail ['fiŋgəneil]
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n. 手指甲
 
immobile [im'məubail]
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adj. 不动的,不变的,静止的
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expand [iks'pænd]
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v. 增加,详述,扩展,使 ... 膨胀,
v
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colonize ['kɔlənaiz]
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v. 开拓殖民地,移居
 
range [reindʒ]
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n. 范围,行列,射程,山脉,一系列
v. 排
 
eventually [i'ventjuəli]
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adv. 终于,最后
 
constant ['kɔnstənt]
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adj. 经常的,不变的
n. 常数,恒量
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kin [kin]
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n. 家族,亲属
adj. 亲属关系的,同类的
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