AfricaAfrican Facts

New ocean will appear carving out small continent from Africa

Researchers predict the appearance of a new Ocean on our planet in five or ten million years following the extension of a tectonic rift in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

A rift that has appeared in the eastern part of Africa could lead to the appearance of a new ocean, according to the findings of American and British researchers reported by NBC News.

The crack observed since 2005 is found in the Afar region of Ethiopia, classified as one of the warmest and arid zones in the world. At present, the length of the rift is over 56 kilometers.

In the depths of the fissure, signs of the parting of the African continent have been detected. This process, which will last between five and ten million years, will end with the formation of an ocean, explains Leeds University doctoral student Christopher Moore.

Not just a new ocean

For her part, Cynthia Ebinger, a geophysicist at Tulane University, believes that the large presence of magma has caused extreme pressure. In 2005, a volcano at the northern end of the rift erupted. However, the magma never reached the surface. After cooling below the rift, it raised the ground level, causing it to rupture.

Specialists emphasize that this is only the beginning of profound changes in the African continent. According to Ken Macdonald, a marine geophysicist at the University of California, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea will invade the Afar region, and the East African Rift Valley will become a new ocean, thus giving birth to a small continent separated from this part of East Africa.

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