Make Your Own Plate Tectonics

About: I am an irish designer living/enjoying life in Barcelona
I am very proud to give you my very first instructable! And what better place to start than with an educational one, the most noble of all!!!
While at school I loved geography and geology and all that stuff about the glaciers but I could never fully appreciate the Plate Tectonics theory.
I got to thinking one day,  when we cook something in a pot that's soupy or gooey it acts very much like the magma layer of the earth and the surface can form a crust just like the earth's crust.
So...instead of just having to believe what you hear when the teacher is telling us the plate tectonic theory we can conduct this experiment and see for ourselves a fast-forward version of the crusts movements. This simulator speeds up time so that a billion years on earth takes only one minute! (give or take a few years). After all, a geological blink of an eye is about as long as all human history put together

All you will need:

A suitable heat source. (If you want to do this in a classroom something portable helps. I got the use of a free standing single electric hob)
A good pot (thick base and stainless steel really help, especially when it comes to cleaning up after)
Oatmeal flakes
Something to stir with

I started with a 2 to 1 oatmeal mix but I ended up putting in more water

If you play around with the heat you can get the surface to do lots of different things....
I hope this idea is useful to you in understanding the plate tectonics theory it came to me 20 years too late.
By the way I'm not a geek, I'm a goof I'm sure the real brains out there might find this ible flawed so if you want to get the real facts all about this business check out this guy's encyclopedia upload it’s a good overview for any learner

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    6 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It would be nice to have 2 or more colors to track "continents" and might be more visually clear. You could cook 2-3 pots of oatmeal coloring one red and one blue (not green in case someone is color blind) and mix them on the stove.

    2 replies
    Ray PowerLaminarin

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    you're right to do something so that the plates looked clearer would make it better for sure I was thinking of overlaying a graphic on top of the different sections of the surface unfortunately I don't have the video editing skills for that (yet)
    Thanks for comment


    2 years ago

    I have a project that has to be done in 3 days and this will be great for my presentation. Thanks ?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    You are not a goof... There are always "10 minute Wikipedia experts" out there to try to down your work... They get a 10 minute education on your subject and then try to act like they have a PhD in the subject when they criticize it... Keep up the good work!.