How I became addicted to Orogeny

Can a Mountain Be Older Than Bones?

Greetings My name Is Koraki AKA Damien Knight, and this is today’s Vlogmas post. Let’s dive in, shall we?  A little background about myself first. I studied geology and obtained my bachelor’s degree in geology in 2020. I have wanted to be a paleontologist since I can remember and have loved dinosaurs since I was three years old. It is safe to say that I was very much “addicted” to paleontology but not so much Orogeny.

What is orogeny? Oh, I am so glad you asked. An orogeny is, according to Merriam-Webster, the process of mountain formation especially by folding of the earth’s crust. In other words, an orogeny is a mountain building event. I could go into great detail about how mountains are formed, but the YouTube algorithm prefers shorter videos. I am already certain this one will be longer than I want it to be.

Many have seen the pictures of Mount Everest and the Himalayas. The Himalayas formed during the appropriately named Himalayan Orogeny. They are young virulent and TALL compared to mountains in America. Of course, they are! They formed between 45-50 Million years ago. These impressive mountains particularly, Mount Everest, played a role in my obsession with mountains. I longed to conquer my life in the same way legendary adventurers conquered its peak.

In contrast to the Himalayas, the Ancient Rocky Mountains started forming 285 million years ago. That said, those aren’t the Rockies of today. The modern Rockies started 75 million years ago during the Laramide Orogeny. Still older than the young Himalayas, but not as old as Bones. Speaking of…

I am sure you all have seen the memes about the Appalachia Mountains. Here I will show some of them now.

According to the memes, they are older than the rings of Saturn, older than the Atlantic, and of course the most terrifying and doubted claim, older than bones.

The Appalachian Mountains of the Appalachian orogeny is actually a tale of three orogenies, the Taconic, the Acadian, and the Allegheny. The Taconic being the first of the orogenies ended around 440 million years ago taking place throughout the Ordovician. The second Orogeny, the Acadian, occurred during the Devonian period about 416-359 million years ago. And the last Orogeny, The Alleghenian? That occurred during the Permian around 300–250 million years ago.

The current mountains are the eroded nubs of once tall, proud, and ancient giants. The Appalachian Mountains are OLD. There is no doubt about that. But are they older than bones? Can a mountain really be that old?

Well, let’s find out how old bone formation is. Thank goodness I studied biology because I wanted to be a paleontologist, but I digress. Originally, bone formation in sea creatures was thought to have only occurred after the Cambrian, then scientists discovered a fossil from the Ediacaran with a skeleton. That was back in 2012 (you know when the world was supposed to end).

This means bones are at least 550 million years old. The meme which falsely claims Morrill’s cave (I assume they meant this cave anyway) is also 550 million years old didn’t say marine, though. They said terrestrial. With that in mind, let’s look at when skeletons walked on land. If we assume TikTaalik was one of the first boned fish to leave the ocean, then we are looking at 375 million years ago.

When I initially saw the meme once more and replied on Facebook about it, I said 400 million years ago. Guess my recollection wasn’t too far off. While the cave cited in the meme certainly isn’t 550 million years old the Appalachian Mountains are very close being a stately 480-million-year-old grandfather of a mountain (approximately anyway) That my friends is older than Terrestrial bones and reason enough to be addicted to orogeny.

Well, that wraps up for today, thanks for being here and if you liked this video, don’t forget to hit the like button. Want more content like this? Sure, ya do. Hit the subscribe button and notification button to see more content like this. Thanks again.


Sources

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2007, February 9). Alleghenian orogeny. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/Alleghenian-orogeny

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2016, February 2). Taconic orogeny. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/Taconic-orogeny

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2018, March 14). Acadian orogeny. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/Acadian-orogeny

Dykeman, W. (2020, October 29). Appalachian Mountains. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/place/Appalachian-Mountains

Geology and Ecology of National Parks. (n.d.). Geology of rocky mountain national park. Geology of Rocky Mountain National Park | U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.usgs.gov/geology-and-ecology-of-national-parks/geology-rocky-mountain-national-park#:~:text=During%20the%20Paleozoic%20era%20(544,raised%20the%20ancient%20Rocky%20Mountains.

Grimley, M. (2013, February 13). Spelunking the highlands: Owning the Caves. Appalachian Voices. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://appvoices.org/2013/02/13/spelunking-the-highlands-owning-the-caves/#:~:text=The%20site%20is%20also%20known,as%20a%20trek%2C%20was%20straightforward.

 Matchen, David “Appalachian Orogeny.” e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia.

17September 2014. Web. 14 December 2022, from https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/246#:~:text=In%20geological%20terms%2C%20”orogeny,from%20Newfoundland%20to%20northern%20Alabama.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Orogeny definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orogeny

MinWage. (2021, February 21). Tumblr thread: Grasping the age of the Appalachians. Cheezburger. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://cheezburger.com/13583109/tumblr-thread-grasping-the-age-of-the-appalachians

R/whitepeopletwitter – they’re older than Saturn’s rings by nearly 400 million years. reddit. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.reddit.com/r/WhitePeopleTwitter/comments/xlfitw/theyre_older_than_saturns_rings_by_nearly_400/

Roy, A. B., & Purohit, R. (2018). Himalayan orogeny. Himalayan Orogeny – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/himalayan-orogeny

University of California – Riverside. (2012, March 8). Oldest organism with skeleton discovered in Australia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 12, 2022 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120308120105.htm

Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, December 6). Tiktaalik. Wikipedia. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik

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