Pangaea, Pangæa, or Pangea (pronounced /pænˈdʒiːə/, pan-JEE-ə, from Ancient Greek πᾶν pan “entire”, and Γαῖα Gaia “Earth”, Latinized as Gæa) was the supercontinent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras about 250 million years ago, before the component continents were separated into their current configuration.
The name was coined in the scientific discussion of Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental drift. In his book The Origin of Continents and Oceans (Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane) first published in 1915, he postulated that all the continents had at one time formed a single supercontinent which he called the “Urkontinent“, before later breaking up and drifting to their present locations. The term “Pangaea” appeared in 1928 during a symposium to discuss Alfred Wegener’s theory.
The single enormous ocean which surrounded Pangaea was accordingly named Panthalassa.