Once upon a time, 65 MYA, the
Australian continent was resting peacefully in the South Pacific Ocean.
The Australian continent was shaped
like an upside-down South America, with a long northern tail and a ridge of
mountains (the Great Dividing Range) running down the eastern end, like a
Then, all of a sudden, a large
six-mile-in-diameter meteor slammed into the Earth at Chicxulub in Mexico. The
meteor created immense destruction at the impact site. The huge impact sent
earthquake shockwaves through the lithosphere and a huge pulse of pressure
through the liquid mantle.
The sleepy Australian continent felt
bad for its North American cousin continent, but it also felt secure in the
knowledge that it was located on the opposite side of the Earth from the
impact. No worries.
After all, being located farther away
from the impact than any other point on the Earth should convey the best
possible situation for surviving the impact effects, right?
Unfortunately for sleepy Australia, the
area around the antipode of a large impact site is one of the worst places to
Within a few hours, the sleepy
Australian continent saw part of its tail uplifted and the small end of its
tail thrown apart. A big, bad Indian continent was uplifted from the ocean
floor right in front (to the north) of the Australian continent and the tail of
the Indian continent took most of its material right from the beginning of the
tail of the Australian continent. The rest of the Australian continent's tail
was forced apart and became its own separate tectonic plate (the Philippines
As a final insult, the twisting motion
the northern movement of the new Indian Continent pulled
Australia northward, further separating it from its former top half, which now
continued to drift and sink down to the South Pole, where it became East
The New Indian continent was imbued
with significant northwesterly motion by the directional energy of the meteor's
impact at Chicxulub. The directional energy was so strong that it pushed the
sea floor (a separate oceanic plate) in front of it to the north and west,
forcing it to subduct beneath both the New Indian continent and the Asian plate
to the north. At the exact antipode of the Chicxulub impact, the Indian
continent was endowed with a prodigious hotspot, which spewed forth magma and
noxious gases for up to 100,000 years on a regular basis and intermittently for
up to a million years (creating the Deccan traps in India. Author's note: Traps
are stepped hillsides created by basalt lava flows).
(Author's note: There is also
the possibility that the top portion of the Indian continent actually sheared
off at the level of the ocean floor and moved northward as a huge, delaminated
hunk of rock. This movement would be much like a glacier flowing down a valley.
The glacier moves much more quickly when it is lubricated with water from the
underside of the glacier.
soft, water-lubricated ocean floor might make a relatively low- friction base
to move across.
Although this shearing
possibility has some attractive qualities, it also introduces a completely
foreign and unproven mechanism of movement. Therefore, I prefer to use a model
of rapid, forced subduction (from both ends) due to extreme directional
WHERE WAS INDIA, REALLY?
Before we examine the path of the
Indian continent on its journey northward, we must deal with the biggest
obstacle that exists for understanding this entire scenario. This obstacle is
the perceived location of India 65 MYA.
The Standard Theory shows India to have
been approximately 4,000 miles to the east of where the antipode of the
Chicxulub impact would have been 65 MYA.
shows a map that illustrates the path of India according to the Standard
Theory.3 pg 11 According to the map, India started out much farther
to the south and west (originally attached to Australia and Antarctica as part
of Pangaea 250 MYA) and then moved up in almost a straight line (and in its
present shape) to its present day location.
According to the Standard Theory:
"About 220 million years ago,
India was an island situated off the Australian coast (author's note: At that
time, Australia and Antarctica were supposedly attached to Africa and much more
to the west), and separated from the Asian continent by a vast ocean called the
Tethys Sea. When Pangaea broke apart about 200 million years ago, India began
to move northward." 3 pg 11
Therefore, according to the Standard
Theory, while Australia was moving east, India was moving north.
Further, the Standard Theory states
that the huge volcanism seen at the Deccan traps in India was a result of the
Indian subcontinent passing over the Reunion Island hotspot off the coast of
Africa approximately 65 MYA.
And the reason for India moving
northeast and crashing into Asia: "The mid-ocean ridge visible in the lower
left of the image is largely responsible for India's northerly movement."3
The logic of the Standard Theory is as
1. We know that India was next
to Australia and Antarctica just off Africa 250 MYA because unique fossils and
plant pollen from that time are found only in these three places.
2. We know where India is located now.
3. If we draw a relatively straight line
between India's position 250 MYA and now, it could have passed over the Reunion
Island hotspot approximately 65 MYA
So, what's wrong with that?
DEBUNKING THE STANDARD THEORY
There are several physical reasons and
one big theoretical reason why the Standard Theory does not stand up to close
Dr. Hetu C. Sheth of the Department of
Earth Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, India has
examined the physical evidence and has found several areas of contention.
1. No Domal Uplift If
the huge lava deposits at the Deccan traps in India were the result of the
Indian subcontinent riding over a mantle plume, then the underlying rock should
show long-term domal uplift at or near the site. It doesn't. Dr.Sheth reports:
"The flatness of the
pre-Deccan landscape constructed on various older rocks in central India, the
horizontality of the Deccan basalt flows over long distances, and laterites
found on the pre-Deccan landscape, together form compelling evidence for
pre-Deccan planation surfaces and long-term tectonic stability prior to the
eruptions. This, along with a near-universal absence of indicators of
pre-eruption uplift throughout the province, runs counter to the idea that a
large plume head produced regional domal uplift, the current drainage pattern
and Deccan flood basalt volcanism."10 pg 13
This lack of domal
uplifting just doesn't occur if a plate is riding over a plume in the usual
scenario. Dr. Sheth notes:
"Significant domal uplift
(1-4 km depending on parameters such as plume temperature) is predicted 10-20
million years before flood volcanism."10 pg
This is a fatal blow to
the standard plume theory for the Deccan traps. There should be domal uplift,
but there isn't any. Therefore, the Deccan traps
would have to be explained in another way. Dr. Sheth offers large-scale plate
dynamics as a possible solution. However, he does note that the shape of the
Deccan traps (almost circular) and the huge volume of flood basalt lava in a
short-term eruption period (half a million to a million years) is more
compatible with a plume head eruption.10
2. Western Side Volcanism Dr. Sheth reports that the entire
western side of India (along the Western Ghats mountains) is underlain with
basaltic lava. The lava is oldest at the Deccan traps (65 MYA) and it ends near
the southern tip of India, around 60 MYA. However there is some volcanism back
up near the Deccan traps (about 600 miles north of the tip) dated at 60.5 MYA.
There are no seamounts extending in to the sea from the southern tip of India,
despite the fact that the volcanic underlayment at the tip was still
substantial.9 What kind of plume does this? Not any Standard Theory
3. Initial Volcanism Latitude
According to Dr. Sheth, the Reunion Island hotspot is located at 21 degrees
south latitude. The lava at the Deccan traps was formed at approximately 30
degrees south latitude. The Standard Theory sees hotspots as fixed in the
mantle. The Standard Theory does not explain this paradox in any satisfactory
way.9 pg 10
In addition to these physical reasons
that argue against the Standard Theory's version of the position and voyage of
the Indian subcontinent from 65 MYA to the present, there is also one big
theoretical reason that argues against it.
The big theoretical reason for revising
the Standard Theory is the competing theoretical model put forward in this
book. While both theories represent possible geological histories of India,
Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory's version has several advantages. These
1. It answers the objections
raised by Dr. Sheth, and, in fact, offers explanations for his findings.
2. It is verified by an abundant trail of
physical evidence left behind during the Indian continent's 65 million year
EXPLAINING THE EVIDENCE
First, let's take a look at the
objections that Dr. Sheth raises concerning the Standard Theory and compare how
these objections relate to the model described by Ben's Antipodal Impact
1. No Domed Uplift The
fact that there is no domed uplift at the site of the Deccan traps volcanism is
exactly what we would expect to see with this new theory. The cosmic impact at
Chicxulub would have sent cataclysmic waves of earthquakes rumbling through the
lithosphere. Because the Earth is spherical in shape, these quakes would all
have met at the antipode of the impact site and pulverized the rock in that
area. This pulverized rock would have offered no frictional or shear resistance
to the pressurized magma rushing to the surface and spewing forth. There would
be no reason for doming. The hole should be roughly circular, which Dr. Sheth
says it was. Furthermore, because the pressurized magma would rise in a plume,
it would not be surprising that the result would have the characteristics of a
plume head eruption. The continental uplift would have happened all at once,
with relatively equal pressure on all of the uplifted material (the pressure
would equalize rather quickly in a liquid). Thus, we would expect that there
would be no doming effect.
2. Western Side
Volcanism The western side volcanism would be the logical result of the
Indian continent moving northwest over the much slower moving hotspot in the
next several million years following the Chicxulub impact. The hotspot would
still be emitting lava as it cut through the lithosphere like a plasma torch.
However, the speed of the continent would be so great that the hotspot could
not create enough pressure to break through the surface
the western side
of India's surface would not be all fractured like the rock at the antipodal
area and the surface would move by too quickly.
Just like the Hawaiian Islands' hotspot, which can erupt on three
different islands at once (including the new one under the sea), the even
bigger and more active Indian hotspot could spew lava all along its cut trench
as the Indian continent began to pull away from it.
Therefore, there is no problem having lava near Mumbai (just south
of the Deccan traps) dated to 60.5 MYA and lava at the tip of India at 60 MYA.
Once the Indian continent pulled away from the hotspot, the hotspot would begin
creating its own set of hotspot islands
known today as Indonesia.
Furthermore, this new scenario even explains
the timing of the tilted uplift of the western side of India, prior to the
raising up of the Western Ghats mountains. Dr. Sheth notes the strange
phenomenon that the rivers in the Indian peninsula all drain from the west to
the east. He speaks of the findings of others:
developed subsequent to the eruption of the Deccan lavas. The newly formed lava
field could have had a regional eastward slope. However, they also noted that
the drainage is antecedent (prior to) the uplift of the Sahydri Range (part of
the Western Ghats)." 10 pg 6
This eastern drainage would occur because of the uplift caused by
the subsurface lava emitted by the slower-moving hotspot as the faster
continent began to outdistance it. The hotspot would have systematically
uplifted the western edge as the edge moved over that hotspot.
The raising of the western mountain ranges
comes much later, when the Indian continent, after running into extreme
resistance from the Himalayan highlands in the east, shifted to the northwest
where there was less resistance. Naturally, the tail of the Indian continent
followed along, and raised up the Western Ghats mountains as it plowed into the
oceanic plate on its western side.
Volcanism Latitude Dr. Sheth states that the volcanism at the Deccan
Traps occurred at approximately 30ºS latitude.9 pg 10 I do not
know how accurate this finding is, nor do I know the exact latitude for the
Chicxulub impact 65 MYA, nor do I know the exact location of the Australian
continent 65 MYA.
However, it is not
difficult to create a model that meets all of these criteria (as I have done in
the Chapter 8 illustrations).
INSPECTING THE DEBRIS FIELD
Now it is time to look at the voyage
that the Indian continent began 65 MYA and to examine the debris field that it
In fact, the islands and land forms of
the area between Australia and Asia are more properly seen as a debris field,
resulting from four separate but related events. These events are:
1. Continental Uplift
The uplift of the continent of India can be seen as a hydraulic elevating event
related to the impact of a cosmic object at Chicxulub 65 MYA. The angled nature
of the off-center impact would have transferred
directional energy to the earth's mantle. This directional energy, streaming
around the heavy earth's core, would have resulted in the formation of the
uplifted Indian continent
a continent in the shape of a "blob with a
tail" and a continent with a powerful forward momentum in the direction of the
While the "blob" part of the
Indian continent was uplifted from the sea floor, most of the tail was uplifted
and separated from the beginning of the tail of the Australian continent. This
continental uplifting eruption not only took a triangular chunk out of the
Australian continent's tail, but it also fractured the middle of Australia's
tail and sent the pieces moving away (but not too far from their original
Thus, the island of New Guinea
was separated from the continent of Australia. It is relatively easy to see, in
an Alfred-Wegener-kind-of-moment, how New Guinea fits back into Australia, and,
with a slight twist of the island, how its mountains continue the chain of the
Great Dividing Range. This mountain range continues on farther to the north
into Borneo, the Philippines and even to Taiwan. Borneo and the other islands
were pushed north (and Borneo was later dragged to the east by the second
2. Continental Movement of the "Blob"
The new Indian continent, having been given tremendous forward momentum
to the northwest by the rotational transfer of energy from the Chicxulub
impact, moved rapidly in that direction, with the "blob" part of the continent
forcing rapid subduction at both ends of the sea floor.
As the continent moved north in an arc (being a surface
phenomenon, and affected by the Coriolis effect, it gradually moved to the
north and later to the east), the eastern edge of the "blob" pushed up land
along the inside of the arc in which it was moving (the Thailand and Malaysian
peninsula, as well as the eastern half of Sumatra. The western part of Sumatra
was formed by the fourth event), while pulling that area slightly northward, as
well (producing the slight northward move of Borneo as compared to the rest of
Australia and its fractured tail, which was moving northward, but not as
3. Continental Movement of the "Tail"
The tail of the Indian continent followed behind the blob, and, because
it followed the same arc described by the blob, it veered a bit to the west and
pulled the land apart to the east of it, creating the Sunda trench. In making
the tight turn of the arc, the beginning of the tail pushed up the Andaman,
Nicobar, Banyak and Mentawai islands to the east of the Sunda tranch (This arc
turn is much like a long truck making a turn
the middle and back of the
truck will run over the curb if the driver doesn't make a wide turn. The blob
was not a good driver. The only thing that prevented even more pile up of land
at those islands was the fact that the tail had no strong connection to the
lower surface, the way a truck's rear wheels would. The tail was free to pull
out to the west and it did. This enhanced the pulling-apart effect of the Sunda
After examining the islands and
seamounts of the Tonga chain (see Appendix II), I realize that the Andaman,
Nicobar and other islands may have been the creation of "reluctant subduction,"
as was the case in the Tonga chain. The Indian tail may not so much have pushed
them up as deepened the trench. Trenches, especially deep ones, almost force
subduction to occur.
The Sunda trench
is often referred to as a double trench, because there seem to be two separate
lines of creation to it. It may well be that one line was created by the
eastern edge of the blob and the other by the tail.36
The tail had a further adventure in
store for it once the blob crashed into the Asian mainland. As the blob
encountered increasing resistance while folding up the Himalayan mountains in
the east, some of the blob and all of the tail slid and pivoted over to an area
of less resistance. The top of the tail split away from the land that it had
pushed up in Burma. In another Alfred-Wegener-kind-of-moment, it is easy to see
that the east coast of India fits nicely into the west coast of Burma.
As the Indian tail moved west and north, it
encountered resistance on its western side. This resistance raised up the
Western Ghats mountains, caused the bend near the bottom of the peninsula and
the eventual break-off of the tip (Sri Lanka).
4.Movement of the Follow-on Hotspot - At the
antipode of the Chicxulub impact 65 MYA, huge earthquake forces from the impact
came together from all directions in a colossal hammer blow to the Earth's
crust at that point. The Earth's crust would be pulverized. This weak spot
would provide the perfect place for magma under pressure to escape to the
surface, creating a huge hotspot.
This hotspot would not be stationary. It would
have the same strong thrust of momentum as the continent of India and in the
same direction. However, the hotspot would be an anchored characteristic
anchored to the mantle
whereas the Indian continent would be a surface
characteristic, floating (in a directed motion) on top of the mantle. .
The hotspot would move in more of a
straight line to the northwest. Its path would not appear to be a straight line
because it would move (much like a plasma torch cutting through the earth's
crust) through latitudes where the surface of the earth is moving faster and
then (after crossing the equator), slower.
The hotspot, although imparted with the same initial momentum as
the Indian continent, would move more slowly because it would have a more
difficult task, cutting through the crust rather than forcing rapid subduction
along the surface.
The initial location of
the hotspot would be below the center of the blob, near the beginning of the
tail, due to the blob being uplifted slightly past the antipode because of the
directional power of the impact force.
initial eruption of the hotspot would be massive and would be within the
boundaries of the new continent. However, after several million years, the
continent would far outdistance the hotspot. Future eruptions would form their
own islands, starting with East Timor and moving up through Java and onto the
west side of Sumatra.
It is especially
interesting to notice how the line of the moving hotspot veers slightly to the
west after crossing the equator, confirming the anchored nature of the hotspot
as opposed to the Coriolis-affected remains of the Indian continent phenomena
(the Andaman islands, the Sunda trench, etc.)., which all veered to the east.
THE BASEBALL THEORY OF TANDEM
This brings us to something that I will
call "The Baseball Theory of Tandem Movement" for uplifted continents and their
In a baseball game, when a batter hits
a line drive and accidentally lets go of the bat at the exact time of impact,
the bat and the ball go in the same direction. However, the ball usually goes
much farther than the bat. Often the ball will go well into the outfield, while
the bat is lucky to make it to the edge of the infield.
In baseball, the difference between the
movement of these two objects can be explained by the difference in force
applied to each object in relation to its weight. In relation to cosmic
impacts, the difference in movement is descriptive of the difference between
the movement of an antipodal hotspot and the movement of the uplifted continent
associated with that hotspot. The uplifted continent, like the baseball, goes
farther and faster than the hotspot, which is analogous to the baseball bat.
The reason for the faster movement of
the uplifted continent is the fact that it encounters less resistance. The
continent sits on top of the crust. The continent merely has to force
subduction along the surface as it moves on its directional voyage. The
hotspot, however, has to crash through miles of congealed rock all the way down
to the mantle
a significantly more difficult and frictional journey.
As a result, the affected continent
breaks away from the hotspot and moves forward, with the hotspot trailing
after. In cases where there is an antipodal hotspot but no continental uplift,
the hotspot has its own solo journey (analogous to a baseball hitter swinging
at a ball and missing, but accidentally letting go of the bat).
Now we can follow the tandem trail of
India and its hotspot.
The Indian continent was created by
continental uplift at the antipode of the Chicxulub impact site 65 MYA. The
original hotspot would have been located at the Deccan traps. According to the
Baseball Theory of Tandem Movement, the Indian continent would have moved more
quickly than its hotspot. However, its hotspot would be trailing behind in
roughly the same path.
The Indonesian island chain, headed by
the giant super-volcano at Lake Toba (the biggest super-volcano in the world)
at the northwest end of the island of Sumatra and trailing a string of smaller,
leftover-but-still-strong volcanoes, is an ideal candidate for the track of the
Chicxulub antipodal hotspot.
The Indonesian island chain is the
trail of the hotspot. The Indian continent, itself, created two sets of
"islands". The first set of islands was gouged out by the eastern edge of the
blob and the second set of islands was induced out
by the tightly-turning tail by forced subduction.
The older, eastern sides of Java and
Sumatra, as well as the Thailand and Malay peninsulas were created by the
eastern edge of the continental blob. The chain of islands just off of the west
coast of Indonesia are the result of the Indian continent's tightly turning
These islands continue on up to the
Nicobar and Andaman islands like a string of pearls on a necklace. Hansel and
Gretel couldn't have left a better trail of breadcrumbs.
Another way to look at the evidence
left behind by the uplift and movement of the Indian continent and the island
arc created by the follow-on hotspot is to compare this evidence to tool marks
that are found on today's manufactured products.
For instance, an experienced fastener
engineer can examine a threaded bolt, look at the tool marks, and determine how
it was made:
1. Small fin marks under the
head of the bolt will indicate that the bolt was formed on an open die header,
rather than a solid die header.
2. Very small concentric circles on a
washer face under the head will indicate that the washer face was shaved,
rather than cold formed.
3. The shape and striations on the screw
threads will indicate whether they were formed by rolling, shaving or grinding.
4. The chamfered point at the thread end will show an irregular cutoff
or a smooth shaved surface, depending upon whether it was cold formed or
5. The shape and verticality of the walls of the slot in the
head will show if it was cold formed on the header or milled on a separate
In the same way, we can examine the
tool marks left behind by the Indian continent and its follow-on
These tool marks include:
1. The Sunda trench (created
by the "pulling away" of the Indian continent's tail).
Indonesian island arc (created by the follow-on hotspot).
Thailand and Malaysian peninsulas (created by the eastern edge of the
tight-turning Indian continent).
4. The Andaman and Nicobar islands and
the islands off the eastern coast of Sumatra (pushed up by the tight-turning
Indian tail from an already scoured bottom or created by
5. Borneo, the Philippines, New Guinea and
Taiwan (the shattered remains of the Australian continent's tail).
The Himalayan mountains (created by the Indian continent crashing into Asia).
7. The shape of India (the triangular tail formed by the continental
uplift and bent as it slid to the west, breaking off at the end of the tail,
creating Sri Lanka).
8. The slope from west to east of the Indian plain
(caused by by the uplift of the western side by the follow-on hotspot as the
continent passed over it, as evidenced by the underlying layer of basalt lava).
9. The Western Ghats mountains (created as the Indian continent slid
west after its initial collision with Asia was blunted).
Bangladesh lowlands (created by the silt of the Ganges river over millions of
years, after the Indian continent slid west, leaving a gap between India and
11. The Philippines plate (created from the Australian plate
after the Indian tail and the follow-on hotspot cut it off from its parent).
The tool marks tell the tale.
In today's world of CSI, NCIS and other
TV crime dramas, these tool marks could also be called forensic evidence. In
the case of the uplift and movement of the Indian continent, there is more than
enough forensic evidence for a conviction.
The concept of tool marks is also
useful in looking at the evidence that is available for other, even older,
The Earth is an active planet. It moves
and changes and erases tool marks over time. While the tool marks of the most
recent major extinction event are still eminently visible, those from the more
distant past have been ground away, eroded, subducted and covered over. These
older tool marks can be tough to find. But that does not mean that they never
This wearing away of earthly tool marks
can be compared to the manufacture of bolts for the aerospace industry. Unlike
common industrial bolts, high performance aerospace bolts cannot afford to have
any marks that might lead to the propagation of a crack. Therefore, the surface
of an aerospace bolt must go through a grinder (a very expensive process) to
remove any marks. The result, to the eye of a fastener engineer who is used to
seeing common industrial bolts, is a bolt that looks as though it was never
manufactured. The evidence is gone.
We face the same problem with evidence
for really ancient major extinctions.
Many people have suspected that the
Chicxulub impact and the vast eruptions at the Deccan traps were related and
that they led to the great extinction 65 MYA. However, finding a convincing
connection has always been elusive.
It is as though we were playing the
game of "Clue". We always thought that the solution to the murder was Colonel
Mustard in the library with a rope. However, we couldn't find the rope, we
weren't sure about the library and the Colonel always had a plausible-sounding
Now we've conclusively determined that
it was the library and we've found the rope with the Colonel's DNA all over it.
The series of maps at the end of this
chapter depicts the creation of the Indian continent 65 MYA and its journey
during the past 65 million years.
Is this the exact model of what
happened to the world at the antipode of the Chicxulub impact? Maybe not. But,
it's very close to that.
What this model does do is to satisfy
these many disparate conditions:
1. The Great Dividing
Range is shattered in its northern regions and the debris ends up in today's
location in this model.
2. The Chicxulub
antipodal hotspot starts out at 30ºS latitude in this model.
3. The great flood of lava at the subsurface
of the western side of India is explained in this model
4. The Australian continent and its attendant parts move mostly
north and somewhat east in this model.
older land on the eastern side of Sumatra and the newer land on the western
side of Sumatra are explained by this model.
6. The arc of Indonesian volcanoes, beginning around East Timor
and moving up through the island of Sumatra AND THEN STOPPING is explained in
7. The creation of the Western
Ghats mountain range in India is explained and placed in the proper time line
after the creation of the land tilt from west to east in this model.
8. The creation of Borneo, New Guinea, the
Philippines islands and Taiwan, as well as the creation of the Philippines
tectonic plate is explained in this model.
The creation of the Indian continent and its movement and its shape is
explained in this model.
10. The creation of
the Thailand and Malay peninsulas and the eastern sides of Sumatra and Java are
explained in this model.
11. The creation of
the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the islands off the west coast of Sumatra
are explained in this model.
12. The creation
of the Sunda trench is explained in this model.
See the following illustrations for a
graphic depiction of the journey of the Indian continent from 65 MYA until the