For thousands of years, people believed that the continents were fixed in their position. The distribution of land and water however, has not always been the same on the earth's surface,as it today. In 1912, Alfred Wegener - a German meteorologist, made an attempt to explain the present - day distribution of continents and oceans. He proposed that million years ago, all landmasses were joined together into a supercontinent, called the Pangaea. He suggested that the Pangaea broke and there was a horizontal displacement of the continents. This is called Wegener's theory of Continental drift. Wegener's theory improved upon by adding see floor spreading the idea of sea - floor spreading which means new sea floor formed as a result of the moving apart of Lithosphere plates.