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Posted by on Jul 19, 2019 in History, Nature, Science & Technology | 0 comments

The Sahara Desert was once a waterway.

From Gizmodo:

“The Sahara might seem like one of Earth’s most lifeless regions today, but its fossils show it was once a vast seaway filled giant fish and some of the largest sea snakes the planet has ever seen. . . During warm periods between 50 million and 100 million years ago, rising sea levels caused a waterway to develop, probably connecting the Gulf of Guinea to the Mediterranean Sea.”

From researcher Maureen A. O’Leary et al:

“Although it varied in size through time, the Trans-Saharan Seaway is estimated to have covered as much as 3000 km2 of the African continent and was approximately 50 m deep.”


“A new paper to be published in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History integrates 20 years of research by a diverse scientific team and describes the ancient Trans-Saharan Seaway of Africa that existed 50 to 100 million years ago in the region of the current Sahara Desert. . . The study in the Bulletin describes how, in the Late Cretaceous, the time under study, sea level rise far exceeded that which is predicted by human-induced climate change. In the Late Cretaceous sea level was 300m higher than present—40 percent of current land was under water, which is very different from today. This information underscores the dynamic nature of Earth.”

Featured Image by Oleg Seliverstov.
Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.