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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Geochronology
'The mountains near here formed when the ... Newfoundland ... microplate collided with, uhh ... Labrador.' 'Ok, now you're definitely just naming dogs.' 'Wait, no, that's actually almost correct.'
Title text: 'The mountains near here formed when the ... Newfoundland ... microplate collided with, uhh ... Labrador.' 'Ok, now you're definitely just naming dogs.' 'Wait, no, that's actually almost correct.'

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a BOT - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Ponytail is describing the origin of some rock formations to Megan and Cueball. She apparently forgot the names of the microplates and the age when the subduction occurred, so she substituties them with names of dog breeds to seem knowledgeable and impress her audience.

Dalmatian and Pomeranian are both dog breeds, but Laika is the name of an actual dog used in the early Soviet space program.

The title text mentions Newfoundland and Labrador which together form the Canadian province Newfoundland and Labrador. The joke here is that these two regions also have the dog breeds Labrador Retriever and Newfoundland named after them. The explanation is actually correct, because the mountains on Newfoundland were formed by the movement of the Newfoundland microplate relative to Labrador on the North American plate.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Cueball, Ponytail, and Megan are standing in a field.]
Ponytail: [Gesturing toward a rock formation] This bedrock likely formed as the Dalmatian microplate subducted under East Laika during the Upper Pomeranian.
Cueball: [Touching his chin thoughtfully] Ah, yes.
[Caption below the panel:]
Geology Tip: There are so many microplates and ages that no one remembers them all, so in a pinch you can bluff with dog breeds.



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