The Scottish Highlands and the Appalachians are the same mountain range, once connected as the Central Pangean Mountains.

Central Pangean Mountains

Map of Pangaea, including the Central Pangean Mountains.

The Central Pangean Mountains were an extensive northeast-southwest trending mountain range in the central portion of the supercontinent Pangaea during the Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic periods. They were formed as a result of collision between the minor supercontinents Laurussia and Gondwana during the formation of Pangaea. At its greatest elevation during the early part of the Permian period, it was comparable to the present Himalayas. Remnants of this massive mountain range include the Appalachian Mountains and Ouachita Mountains of North America, the Little Atlas of Morocco, Africa and much of the Scottish Highlands including Ben Nevis.

A number of mountain building … Continue Reading (2 minute read)

12 thoughts on “The Scottish Highlands and the Appalachians are the same mountain range, once connected as the Central Pangean Mountains.”

  1. mammasgottoast

    Life is old there, older than the trees.

  2. Dakens2021

    Also the border between Scotland and England follows pretty well the boundary where the ancient landmass of Avalonia collided with Laurentia around 425 million years ago.

  3. Socialist7

    I read somewhere that many Appalachian people have Scottish ancestry.

  4. Dino7813

    On the Appalachian Trail there are some “highlands“ parts and they are almost otherworldly.

  5. Stratiform

    Weird. A friend just posted about this, it asking me on my Facebook wall like 2 hours ago. Here’s what I told them:

    > TL;DR: Yes!
    >
    >The Appalachians, the Little Atlas Mountains (Northern Africa), Greenland, and most of Great Britain, including what would become the Scottish Highlands, were all uplifted during the Caledonian Orogeny (mountain building event) when Pangea was forming from the collision of Gondwana (Southern supercontinent) with Laurentia (North American craton + Greenland/UK).

    >Over a couple hundred million years this continent-continent collision produced mountains of Himalayan proportion in the middle of Pangea. As plate boundaries began to shift and the mid-Atlantic rift formed, Europe broke apart from the North American craton (stable continent) and took the British Isles with it. But their Paleozoic and older rocks are more like North America (Laurentia) than the rest of Europe and over time erosion has taken its toll.

    > Interestingly, 300-400 years ago as settlers from Scotland were coming to the United States, they settled in largely Appalachia. Contrast that with English settlers who preferred the “low-lands” of places like Massachusetts and New York as they thought mountains were ugly and dangerous.

  6. Whygoogleissexist

    Does that mean we can make Islay single malts in West Virginia? Let’s get cracking for peat’s sake

  7. Frantic_Mantid

    I’m here for the Highlander Hillbilly crossover

  8. rekabis

    And here I thought it was _not just_ Scotland, but also the Moroccan mountain range as well. As in, the range starts out in Morocco, goes through Appalachia, and ends up in Scotland.

  9. BlueFreedom420

    If I had three wishes

    1. immortality
    2. patience
    3. A seat to watch them split apart.

  10. Infernalism

    I’m not sure I understand.

    Are these, literally, the same mountains, just broken up and split up among the continents, or new mountains that cropped up due to new tectonic activity along the old borders after Pangea broke up?

    Because the idea that the very same mountains that we can walk on today being side by side with mountains that now exist in Morocco and Scotland is just astounding to me.

  11. PandaLunch

    They do the “Highland Games” at Grandfather Mountain each year.

  12. SausageTaxi

    As someone from the Appalachians maybe it’s why I want to visit the Scottish Highlands so much. It’s like home on the other side of the ocean.

    Also maybe the high number of Scotch/Irish settlers in this region and the evolution into the “Appalachian” accent is why I can still understand Scottish and Irish accents when everyone else is like “Wtf are they saying”

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