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ZetaTalk: African Kopje
Note: written on Jun 15, 1996.


The plains of Africa are flat, in the main, baked during the seasonal droughts and unperturbed by earthquakes. Yet among the rolling hills and broad valleys are rock outcroppings that stand as peculiar to their surroundings. Unlike the wind or water sculpted remnants of sandstone hills, the Kopje are solid rock. To understand their origin one must put aside the concept of the African continent as land, and realize that its origins were as a sea bed, formed as sediments. Originally a water planet, the proto- Earth was entirely underwater when her crust hardened. Following her collision with one of the many moons that travel behind the 12th Planet, the Earth settled into her current orbit and began reshaping herself into a globe, minus much of her water. Land formed under the sea can be compressed sediment or hardened lava, and during times of turmoil the soft sediment can wash away, leaving lava plums standing alone in stark contrast to their surroundings. Such was the origin of the African Kopje.

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