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5.96-5.33 million years ago, during the Messinian Salinity Crisis, the modern Mediterranean sea was mostly(or possibly entirely) dry.

Scientist theorize a massive flood, known as the Zanclean Flood[artist’s depiction above] to have refilled the basin in a matter of months, connecting the inland seas with the ocean again.

Via a breach in the modern Gibraltar Strait, water from the Atlantic Ocean was flowing at a rate of up to 1000 times that of the Amazon River. That’s 8640 cubic kilometers of water per day. A massive torrent of water from an entire ocean flowing over a 1 kilometer drop.

In this model, sea levels rose as fast as 10 feet a day. There are also estimates of a more gradual refilling, but either scenario was a dramatic change for that part of the world from then on.

What it would have been like to be at the water’s edge while that was happening…

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