A huge crack in the ground opened up overnight, 50 feet deep and at its widest 65 feet across, slicing through a major road and sending fear down the spines of many who are resident in an area just west of Nairobi, Kenya.
So what’s responsible for it? Well, it depends which scientist you ask.
“We’re seeing a crack that in all likelihood formed over many thousands of years or hundreds of thousands of years,” said Ben Andrews, a geologist with the Smithsonian.
Other scientists, like Mr. Andrews, believe that the crack was recently exposed by a rainstorm. But he says its very true cause it goes deeper, and that the split was caused by the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates, sections of the Earth’s crust that move about one inch a year. In 50 million years, he went on further to say Africa may split in two.
Other scientists, like earthquake geologist Wendy Bohon, agree that Africa is slowly splitting in two, but she thinks the gash was created in a flash.
“I think it’s an Earth fissure, the same sort of thing that you see in Arizona after heavy rain storms,” Bohon said. “They’re the result of heavier torrential rains that come and wash away large portions of the dirt in the ground. To me it looks pretty cut and dry. It wasn’t a result of the tectonics, it was the result of the weather.”
A mysterious gash in the Earth at the very spot where Africa is being slowly torn apart.