THE CONTINENTAL SHUFFLE
Over 250 million years ago, India, Africa, Australia, South America and Antarctica were all one continent called ‘ PANGEA’and is also known as ‘ GONDWANA LAND ‘. Over the next several million years, this giant southern continent proceeded to break up, forming the continents we know today. What ultimately formed the majestic Himalayas about 60 million years ago, was the rapid movement of India northward toward the continent of Euro Asia(LAURASIA). India charged across the equator at rates up to 15 cm/year in the process closing an ocean named Tethys that had separated fragments of Pangea. This ocean is entirely gone today. To understand the fascinating mechanics of the collision of India with Asia, we must first look beneath the Earth’s surface. For at least 80 million years, the oceanic Indian Plate continued its inexorable collision with southern Asia, including Tibet. The Indian sub-continent began to be driven horizontally beneath Tibet like a giant wedge, forcing Tibet upwards and this process continues today. In about 10 million years, India will plow into Tibet a further 180 km and the country of Nepal will technically cease to exist. But the mountain range we know as the Himalaya will not go away.