juillet 20, 2024

Soon, a new ocean in Africa?

Imagine if Africa could have a brand new piece of the ocean! Scientists have found that a massive crack, known as the East African Rift, is forming from Mozambique to the Red Sea. This crack is so huge that it might one day become a gigantic ocean!

In Kenya, two pieces of land have started to separate, creating this astonishing crack. If it keeps growing, countries like Zambia and Uganda might even have their own coastline. It’s as if Africa is getting ready to welcome a 6th ocean on our planet.

Initially, scientists thought it would take millions of years, but now, they think it could happen much more quickly, perhaps within a million years or even less! Cynthia Ebinger, an expert in the field, explains that things like earthquakes could speed up the process, but we can’t always predict when these events will occur.

All of this is happening because of tectonic plates, these massive pieces of Earth that move. A region in Ethiopia already experienced a lot of earthquakes in 2005, creating this crack we’re observing today. Imagine, this crack is already about 60 kilometers long and 10 meters deep in the Ethiopian desert, one of the hottest and driest places on Earth!

The African and Somali plates move very slowly, but this constant motion could eventually split Africa in two, making room for a massive amount of salty water from the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

It reminds us of how the Atlantic Ocean formed a very long time ago. Scientists say it’s not just climate change that can alter our coastline but also these incredible movements inside the Earth. It’s like our planet is showing us an extraordinary spectacle! 🌍

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