A German meteorologist
who developed the theory of continental drift
in 1912 when he noticed that the coastlines of the continent
s bordering the Atlantic Ocean
seemed to have once fit together.
When he published his theory
, it was attacked by the scientific community. Because he had no mechanism to explain his theory, Wegener spent much of his life defending his idea.
He spent his fiftieth year in Greenland
on an meteorologic expedition
. A small group of researchers led by Wegener set out to get supplies to a research station but everyone in the group turned back due to severe weather except Wegener and another member of the group. The two reached the station, but died trying to return to base camp. Wegener's body was found the next summer. He died never knowing the mechanism
that would prove his theory to the scientific community.
Wegener's theory was finally proven by Harry Hess
who proposed the mechanism of sea floor spreading
which explained how the continents moved. The theory of continental drift eventually become known as plate tectonics