Soon to be a hot vacation spot: the island of Eritrethiopia

Mary
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As if Africa didn't already have enough problems to deal with, scientists apparently are worried that it's splitting apart. Last September an earthquake opened up a 37-mile crack in Ethiopia that could spread all the way to the Red Sea, allowing water to flood in and turning Ethiopia and Eritrea into an island.

It's only 8m wide, and it doesn't look so different from cracks that often appear after earthquakes. But all the interesting stuff is going on beneath the surface, and it's only now that we've got sophisticated imaging technology that we can see what's happening beneath our feet. Apparently, some of the tectonic plates that Africa sits on are moving apart, causing the earth's crust to stretch and thin, causing magma to rise up and create what will become new ocean floor.

The good news is, the continent probably won't split in two for another million years, and by then we'll all be living on the moon anyway.

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July 24, 2006 - 11:00am
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