Penguins have finally arrived in the humid city of Mumbai. Although they are being kept in an air conditioned room in Byculla Zoo, we can’t ignore the absurdity of having these birds forced into a climate they clearly aren’t meant for. Had this forced migration taken place billions of years ago, it wouldn’t have been as harsh since, as per a new study, it has been proven that the Indian subcontinent was once a part of Antartica.
According to the study conducted by a group of geologists from India and Switzerland, strong evidence has been found that proves this theory. Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Well, we were astounded too when we found about this research, published in the international journal ‘Elservier’. The study shows that India and Antarctica were separated by an ocean about 1.6 billion years ago and, “This ocean later closed again with the movement of the landmasses and the two continents approached each other until they collided again around one billion years ago to form the Eastern Ghats mountain belt,” explains IIT Kharagpur geologist, Dewashish Upadhyay, who led the research to PTI.
After this collision, the crust broke again, separating both the continents from each other for good. “Another collision around 600 million years ago created a mountain range that is currently preserved in the Eastern Ghats all the way to southern India and Sri Lanka and even Madagascar, which was once part of the Indian subcontinent,” adds Professor Klaus Mezger from the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Bern, Switzerland, who has been studying the evolution of earth’s crust along with Upadhyay.
This range preserved in the eastern ghats is nothing more than a clue that proves that this theory was indeed a fact -- buried in our planet’s history billion of years ago. Moreover, the geologists continued to find more ancient rocks from the continent’s crust in the Eastern Ghats. “This research has revealed this interesting dance of the continents and probably constitutes the best examples we currently have of this phenomenon, where ocean-opening and ocean-closing happened several times,” adds Mezger.
Feature image courtesy of inhabitat.com