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September 20, 2013 – AFRICA - In the desert of northern Ethiopia, there’s a great rift in the ground which has long thought to have been the starting point of a new ocean, but a recent discovery has scientists wondering if they called that right, or if they’re instead seeing a whole new kind of feature forming. The Afar Rift has been called ‘an ocean in the making,’ as this is where the continents of Africa and Asia are slowly spreading apart from one another. Presumably, sometime in the future, the continents would get far enough apart that water from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden would rush in and we would be witness to the birth of what would someday become a new ocean. Scientists have seen similarities between the Rift and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where magma wells up to make the ocean floor spread. However, a research team recently discovered a massive blob of magma, measuring around 500 cubic kilometers in size, lurking deep beneath the region, and that’s unlike anything they’ve seen before.