Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents relative to each other, thus appearing to "drift" across the ocean bed. The speculation that continents might have 'drifted' was first put forward by Abraham Ortelius in 1596. The concept was independently and more fully developed by Alfred Wegener in 1912, but his theory was rejected by some for lack of a mechanism, which was supplied later by Arthur Holmes. The idea of continental drift has been subsumed by the theory of plate tectonics, which explains that the continents move by riding on plates of the Earth's crust.
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