Science 2 min read

Great Rift Valley Shows Evidence that Africa is Splitting into Two Continents

Thomasz Kowalski /

Thomasz Kowalski /

A large crack in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley is being considered proof that Africa is splitting in two.

Recently, Kenya’s Great Rift Valley made headlines after anthropologists discovered artifacts in the region showing early human innovations. Now, local media outlets have reported that a giant crack has appeared in the middle of the Mai Mahiu-Narok Road.

According to geologists, the crack is an indicator that Africa is slowly splitting apart. The Daily Nation reported that the crack now measures around 50 feet deep and over 20 meters wide.

According to geologist David Adede, the crack may have been filled with volcanic ash coming from the nearby volcano Mt. Longonot.

“The valley has a history of tectonic and volcanic activities,” Adede was quoted as saying. “Whereas the rift has remained tectonically inactive in the recent past, there could be movements deep within the Earth’s crust that have resulted in zones of weakness extending all the way to the surface.”

Read More: New Evidence of Early Innovation Pushes Back Human Evolution Timeline

A series of heavy rainfall late last month reportedly exposed the massive crack. Scientists said that the area where the crack appeared is just one of the many weak spots in the Great Rift Valley. These cracks and fissures run throughout the continent, starting from the Horn of Africa and ending in Mozambique.

Currently, the Horn of Africa covers four countries: Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya. In the next 50 million years, scientists predict that the land mass where these four nations are located will split from Africa. This will form a new continent known as the Somali Plate.

Since movements deep within Earth’s crust are causing the problem, filling the crack with concrete and rocks is only considered a temporary solution.

“You cannot stop a geological process because it occurs from deep within the crust of the Earth,” Adede explained.

People living near the crack began evacuating their homes yesterday, with one elderly local claiming that staying there is like courting death. Mary Wambui, 72 years of age, was reportedly having dinner with her family when “the Earth suddenly cracked beneath their feet,” splitting their home into two.

Do you think this could soon be a major issue in the region? Or is it something for future generations to worry about?

First AI Web Content Optimization Platform Just for Writers

Found this article interesting?

Let Chelle Fuertes know how much you appreciate this article by clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social media.

Profile Image

Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

Comments (0)
Most Recent most recent
share Scroll to top

Link Copied Successfully

Sign in

Sign in to access your personalized homepage, follow authors and topics you love, and clap for stories that matter to you.

Sign in with Google Sign in with Facebook

By using our site you agree to our privacy policy.