into Asia - And the Himalayas are Born
20 million years ago India was connected to the southeastern
tip of Africa. Stresses in the earth's crust resulted
in the development of a rift between them. India broke
free and began drifting north as part of the Indo-Australian
Plate. The leading edge of the plate was oceanic crust.
Several millions of years later this leading oceanic
edge collided with the Eurasian Plate and began to
be thrust upward. Eventually, the deep sea-floor of
the Indo-Australian Plate rose above sea level, and
the Himalayas were born.
Today, India continues it's push northward.
The Himalayas, once the deep sea-floors of an ancient
sea, are now a majestic terrestrial mountain range.
Imagine the surprise of geologists when they discovered
the fossilized remains of ancient sea creatures at
the top of the world. The mid-ocean ridge visible
in the lower left of the image is largely responsible
for India's northerly movement.
Thanks to Bruce Heezen and Marie Tharpe.