In 2005, a 60-kilometre crack opened up in the Afar region of Ethiopia.
In 10 days it reached a width of eight metres and has been expanding ever since.
A University of Bristol seismologist working in the Afar region, James Hammond, says the split will happen over about 10 million years.
“Parts of Afar are below sea level and the ocean, the sea is only cut off by about a 20-metre block of land in Eritrea,” he said.
“Eventually this will rift apart, the sea will flood in and will start to create a new ocean, and eventually the Somalia plate will drift off and we’ll have a smaller Africa and a very big island which floats out into the Indian Ocean.”
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