The African Continent Is Splitting in Two and It's Happening Faster Than We Thought

Massive Rift Valley Split in Kenya, Geologists Say it'll Form a New Continent
Massive Rift Valley Split in Kenya, Geologists Say it'll Form a New Continent

Eastern Africa is splitting from the rest of the continent in a geological event that will occur in millions of years, eventually leaving Africa without its horn.

It's happening quicker than anyone thought as well - although it's worth pointing out that when we say 'quick' we are talking in geological terms, which means within a few million years.

Whilst it's unlikely to suddenly break off and fall into the Indian Ocean next Thursday, it is already causing consequences.

A big road in Kenya - known as the Mai Mahiu road - has already cracked and caved in under the pressure.

Geologists thinks it is all down to volcanic activity. Specifically, a Superplume.

The geologic rift running down the eastern side of the continent, which will be replaced with ocean, is widening at a faster rate than expected, geologically speaking.

And it may already be causing problems. Kenya's busy Mai Mahiu road caved in after it developed a volcanic fault-line, the Kenya National Highways Authority said.

Geologist David Adede blames the split  - where sections of the road sunk, endangering drivers and holding up traffic, according to The Star - on volcanic activity.

In an interview with NTV, he said: The Great Rift splits Africa into two plates. With what is happening we have established one plate which is the Somali plate is moving away from the other plate at a rate of 2.5cm.

In the near future if this happens we shall have Somali plate separating from the other Nubian plate.

He explained that after the road cracked, a big hole opened up and swallowed all the water (there had been recent flooding in the area), resulting in more cracks in the ground.

He added: There is a great need for researchers to conduct a comprehensive study on the terrain of this region so that they can advise on where roads and residential buildings can be established.

This can play a key role in dealing with such natural disasters should they happen.

The two massive chunks of land - the Nubian plate and the Somali plate - are separating by a few millimetres each year due to a 'superplume', a giant section of the earth's mantle that carries heat from near the core up to the crust.
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