The history of the Earth is approximately four and a half billion years old. During this time, serious geological and biological changes took place, and the appearance of the planet was constantly changing. To a modern man with his fleeting life, the processes taking place on the planet seem imperceptible, although they will continue for several billion years.
It is very likely that humanity will not be able to get a reliable answer to the question of how life originated on Earth yet. Perhaps it originated on the planet or was brought here from the depths of space. Modern research only allows us to assert that this happened at the beginning of the Archean period. In those ancient times, most of the planet was covered by an acidic ocean. Individual islands rose from the depths, then disappeared, following the stormy geological processes in the depths of the planet.
In the subsequent period, significant areas of land began to appear from the waters of the ocean - the so-called microcontinent. In the immediate vicinity of them, there were oceanic areas with a shallow bottom. The first inhabitants of the planet - invertebrates and algae - appeared in the silty sediments of shallow water. Dying off, these organisms formed chains of reefs located near the coast.
Relatively small in size areas of land moved to the south of the planet, as a result of which a giant continent was formed there, which received the name Rodinia. About 750 million years ago, it disintegrated, giving rise to several continents. This period in the history of the Earth is marked by great diversity in aquatic flora and fauna.
Throughout the Paleozoic, the movement of parts of the land continues, leading to the formation of new continents and the disappearance of the old ones. Mountain ranges and entire systems of elevations appear. The end of the Paleozoic era coincides with the formation of a huge continent called Pangea.
Huge areas of land have caused a change in the planet's climate. Gradually, life gets out on land, where it successfully adapts to new conditions. The abundance of horsetails and tree ferns became the basis for the formation of coal, which is a combustible rock. There is a great variety of marine organisms, which, after dying off in whole layers, settled in shallow water, forming sedimentary rocks.
Subsequently, in the Mesozoic, the giant continent of Pangea fell apart. The number of species of organisms living on land has increased. The era of lizards and giant reptiles - dinosaurs - has come. However, some kind of catastrophe of a planetary scale, the reasons for which are not entirely clear, caused the extinction of almost all life on Earth. Perhaps the cause of the planetary disaster was the fall of a fairly large meteorite.
About 65 million years ago, the Cenozoic era began, the Quaternary period of which falls on the modern era. Over the past millions of years, the continents of the planet have acquired a form familiar to today's man, climatic zones and mountain systems have been formed. In nature, as a result of evolution, mammals have reigned. It is possible that man, the highest representative of the animal kingdom, will become the factor that, in the course of the technological development of civilization, will be able to purposefully change the appearance of the planet, without waiting for natural slow changes to take effect.