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Geologists witness 'ocean birth'
Scientists say they have witnessed the possible birth of a future ocean basin growing in north-eastern Ethiopia.
The team watched an 8m rift develop in the ground in just three weeks in the Afar desert region last September.
It is one small step in a long-term split that is tearing the east of the country from the rest of Africa and should eventually create a huge sea.
The UK-Ethiopian group says it was astonished at the speed with which the 60km-long fissure developed.
"It's the first large event we've seen like this in a rift zone since the advent of some of the space-based techniques we're now using, and which give us a resolution and a detail to see what's really going on and how the earth processes work; it's amazing," said Cindy Ebinger, from Royal Holloway University of London.