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India Slams into Asia - And the Himalayas are Born

Approximately 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.

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