If you weren’t living in a fantasy world for the past year or so, then you might be familiar with the word Brexit that is being thrown around a lot.
So, as the Britain prepares to depart from the European Union, geologists in a new study have revealed that ‘a geological Brexit’ took place much before our species came into existence.
A paper published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday suggests that what is now the UK was around 450,000 years ago connected to France through a thin strip of land.
“This was really one of the defining events for the north-west Europe - and certainly the defining event in Britain's history, said the study co-author Sanjeev Gupta from the Imperial College London. “This chance geological event, if it hadn't happened, would have meant Britain was always connected to the continent.”
The strip of land, in the midst of an ice age, connected Dover, a town in the South East England to Calais, a town in Northern France. It also had a large glacial lake right next to it.
According to the study, the land was submerged when the lake overflowed, which debilitated the structure and after a second catastrophic flooding around 150,000 years ago, destroyed the structure, splitting Britain from Mainland Europe.
The evidence for this was found at the bottom of the English Channel.
However, the geologists are not certain about why the lake overflowed. “Perhaps part of the ice sheet broke off, collapsing into the lake, causing a surge that carved a path for the water to cascade off the chalk ridge,” said co-author Jenny Collier also from the Imperial College London. “In terms of the catastrophic failure of the ridge, maybe an earth tremor, which is still characteristic of this region today, further weakened the ridge.”
Information source: bbc
Title image: carbonbrief