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SCI/TECH: New Ocean in Africa? Could Be!

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posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 08:39 PM
Since September, scientists from Africa, Europe and the United States have been monitoring a thirty-seven mile long, thirteen foot wide fissure in the Afar desert in Ethiopia. They believe that in about a million years this process will progress to the point that a new ocean basin will have formed. They have noted that the earth's crust under the fissure resembles the crust at the edges of the Red Sea. The process is proceeding at a pace of .08 inches per year.
Ethiopian, American and European researchers have observed a fissure in a desert in the remote northeast that could be the "birth of a new ocean basin," scientists said Friday.

Researchers from Britain, France, Italy and the U.S. have been observing the 37-mile long fissure since it split open in September in the Afar desert and estimate it will take a million years to fully form into an ocean, said Dereje Ayalew, who leads the team of 18 scientists studying the phenomenon.

The fissure, now 13 feet wide, formed in just three weeks after a Sept. 14 earthquake in a barren region called Boina, some 621 miles north east of the capital, Addis Ababa, said Dereje.

"We believe we have seen the birth of a new ocean basin," said Dereje of Addis Ababa University. "This is unprecedented in scientific history because we usually see the split after it has happened. But here we are watching the phenomenon."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I can understand why scientist are excited about this phenomenon, even though there is no guarantee that the earth will still be here a million years from now. Not that there is any reason to believe that it won't, but a lot of things can happen in a million years. This process does remind us that our planet is a dynamic body that just might surprise us all by negating every doomsday scenario we can invent and find revitalization in ways we could could never anticipate.

Related News Links:

[edit on 2005/12/10 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 09:04 PM
Thats groovy.

More than groovy, in fact, it's downright funky.

If we are still around in a million years, we can say "We were there!"

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 11:18 PM
What if the crack got worse ,where it reached down to the Mantle and exposed the works in the earth? Wasn't it said in the article that a recent earthquake was responsible for the appearance of the crack? Hopefully that's an isolated case in Africa. Wouldn't want too many cracks opening up on the the planet at the same time.

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 11:30 PM
The Great Rift Valley is also going to form an ocean if it continues to split as it has been already for millions of years. I'm guessing this is probably just a new fork in it.

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 11:32 PM
I am reminded of the old George Carlin routine that goes something like this:

"Huge cracks are appearing in the earths surface and large rocks are falling from the sky! Details on the hour."

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 11:34 PM
Here's some background on the Great Rift Valley.


posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 11:39 PM
While the overall topic is very interesting, I had to chuckle at an article I read that said scientists were setting up an observation post to watch how this developed. That job would be worse than watching paint dry if this thing is supposed to take millions of years to happen. I mean do scientists fight to get that job or to avoid getting it?

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 11:48 PM
I agree with all the above. It’s kind of surrealistic in a way, and definitely puts things in their rightful place. Busy going about our daily lives, most of us rarely stop to consider all the things going on around us, but on a far, far grander scale.

Good thread

posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 12:03 AM
It has been theorized that these tectonic processes in Africa led to our evolution as humans...the creation of the Rift Valley changed part of Africa from dense forest to open savannah, seperating us physically from the apes and forcing us to come out of the trees, walk upright, and depend more on hunting.

posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 12:12 AM

Originally posted by djohnsto77
It has been theorized that these tectonic processes in Africa led to our evolution as humans...

That's very interesting and probably pretty accurate. I think that is why we should not become too alarmed by geologic and atmospheric change. You never know what cool thing might happen. I have often wondered what marvels might be revealed by the receding ice attributed to global warming.

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