In 250 million years it may be possible to walk to all four corners of the Earth as the landmasses which form the continents fuse together, according to one geologist.
Similar to Pangea, the landmass which covered the Earth before breaking up into the sections we see today, the future shape of the planet may mimic its ancient roots.
Christopher Scotese at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has dubbed the predicted shape ’Pangaea Proxima’.
He said: “Fifty million years from now, Australia will be in collision with southeast Asia to a much larger degree.”
Mr Scotese mapped his projections in an animation which shows Antarctic travelling north to end up next to Africa and collides with South America.
As the continents are constantly on the move, he says, collisions between them are seemingly inevitable.
Mr Scotese said: “In the plate tectonic world, plates do evolve slow and steady until we have one of these plate tectonic catastrophes like continental collisions.
”This fundamentally changes plate tectonic regimes.”
Earth’s continents shift at differing speeds, with some travelling at the rate of 1.2inches per year, while others are steaming ahead and on the move at five times that rate.
The moveable landmasses have been known for roughly a century, with German physicist Alfred Wegener naming his discovery continental drift.
In the modern age, the movement of the continents is mapped using satellite tracking.
Susan Hough, a seismologist at the US Geological Survey in California, explained: “It’s like a big soup cauldron.
“The plates are like little bits of crust on top of the soup.”
WHAT IS THE RING OF FIRE?
But the fault lines which separate the plates are deadly, with devastating earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis rife along its borders.
Millions of people have perished in these natural disasters, which sometimes occur without warning and can destroy entire communities.
Key locations around the world are hotspots, including the notorious Ring of Fire.
Rife with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the danger zone stretches from the outside of Australia around the eastern coast of Japan and coming down the western coast of the North and South American continents.