Africa is splitting into two continents and forming a new African Ocean

New photographs have shown how Africa is physically splitting into two parts along the East African Rift Valley that stretches over 3,000km from the Gulf of Aden in the north towards Zimbabwe in the south. 

Yes Africa is splitting into two continents and forming a new African Ocean.

Present-day Somalia and parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania split the African plate into two unequal parts: the Somali and Nubian plates. Scientists say this split will eventually lead to the formation of a new ocean called the African Ocean and give rise to a new continent.

Shifting tectonic plates have been splitting the continent since the East African Rift, a 35-mile-long crack in Ethiopia’s desert emerged in 2005 though It will take millions of years for Africa to be divided into two unequal parts. The new ocean will take at least 5 million to 10 million years to form which could eventually give the landlocked countries of Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe their own coastlines.

The separation of the Somalian tectonic plate and the larger Nubian tectonic plate will effectively split the world’s second-largest continent in two – a phenomenon that hasn’t been observed in hundreds of millions of years when South America and Africa were divided into different continents.

Africa is splitting into two continents and forming a new African Ocean
A tanker drives near a chasm suspected to have been caused by a heavy downpour along an underground fault line near the Rift Valley town of Mai-Mahiu.
Image Credit: Reuters

The findings are based on a 2004 study on separating the Somalian tectonic plate from the larger Nubian tectonic plate. The study, published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, found that the plates separate a few millimetres per year.

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Mungwadzi Godwin

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