This 4-minute video tells the extraordinary story of Marie Tharp (1920-2006), considered “one of the most outstanding cartographers of the 20th century.” Without ever going on a single oceanic mapping expedition (it was feared women would bring “bad luck” at sea), she created the first scientific map of the entire ocean floor by converting endless rows of depth measurements into detailed profiles.

Marie’s maps and ideas, “once dismissed as ‘girl talk’, revolutionized our understanding of the world and provided proof of the controversial theory of continental drift.” They also gave birth to our modern understanding of plate tectonics.

Bravo to the Royal Institution of Great Britain for telling Marie’s story and putting her game-changing work in the spotlight it rightfully deserves.