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What Caused This 40km Crater Known As ‘The Eye Of Africa’?

In the heart of the Sahara desert in Mauritania there is a mysterious crater that has puzzled geology experts for years. The Richat Structure is an impressive 40 kms in diameter and its circular shape led experts to originally believe that it was caused by the impact of an asteroid. Further tests have proved this inconclusive though and more popular theories suggest that the crater was formed by a ‘highly symmetrical and deeply eroded geologic dome’ or was even caused by an underground nuclear blast. The circular shape of the Richat Structure and the incredible colours of the rock have led to the site receiving the name ‘The eye of Africa’ due to its uncanny resemblance to a human eyeball when viewed from space.

The differing colours of the rocks provide a spectacular view from above

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The Richat Structure, as seen from space

The crater spans an impressive 40km in diameter

It’s easy to see why an asteroid impact was one of the original theories

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Written by PH

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