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Animation of Gondwana breakup (see caption below)
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Gondwana through time

Here are certain things to look out for while moving through time in this animation. We begin at 150 million years ago, when the Seychelles were still buried within the Gondwana supercontinent. Note that present-day coastlines are outlined in purple, while green areas represent land either above or below sea level. As Gondwana breaks up, watch for the birth of the Mascarene Platform, on which the Seychelles lie, about 65 million years ago. Observe India as it collides with Asia, leaving behind the so-called 90 East Ridge. Represented by the green line appearing to jut out of eastern India, the 90 East Ridge is a submerged mountain range that arose along a hotspot trail (much as the Hawaiian islands did). The animation continues 50 million years into the future, with the African Rift Valley opening up widely and India migrating well into Asia. Please note that these future projections are purely speculative and merely represent how tectonic-plate movements are currently trending.

Note: The plate reconstructions shown here were derived from data made available on the ODSN-Geomar Web site (

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