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Earth Science

DR Congo Ring May Be Giant Impact Crater 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the leaving-a-mark dept.
Phrogman writes "The BBC is reporting that deforestation has 'revealed what could be a giant impact crater in Central Africa, scientists say. The 36-46km-wide feature, identified in DR Congo, may be one of the largest such structures discovered in the last decade.' If you search Google Maps for 'Omeonga Democratic Republic of the Congo,' you will be right in the middle of the suspected crater."
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DR Congo Ring May Be Giant Impact Crater

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  • Indiana Jones (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Mekkah (1651935)
    This isn't breaking news Indiana Jones came out two years ago, wtf.
  • actually landed in the DR Congo some years back?

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:53PM (#31456326) Homepage Journal

    Deforestation has revealed what could be a giant impact crater in Central Africa, scientists say.

    Well then, we should keep deforesting the entire planet. Who knows what amazing discoveries await?!
  • So the current destruction of that part of the earth has revealed an earlier attempt to destroy that part of the earth ... when will Mother Nature learn she can't get rid of us that easy?
    • Re:More Of The Same? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Friday March 12, 2010 @05:07PM (#31456528) Journal

      So the current destruction of that part of the earth has revealed an earlier attempt to destroy that part of the earth ... when will Mother Nature learn she can't get rid of us that easy?

      She doesn't want to kill us off. We're her eggs. She wants us to leave the nest, and go reproduce her on other planets.

      • by Em Emalb (452530)

        Actually, it's not Mother Nature that is wanting us to leave, it's Father Nature. He's been trying for several millenia to get some "alone time" with Ma Nature.

        That's right, humans and animals are all essentially cock-blocking Father Nature from getting some. He's finally pissed off enough to do something about it (earthquakes, global warming, tsunamis, etc), especially since he started taking Viagra.

      • by Valdrax (32670)

        She doesn't want to kill us off. We're her eggs. She wants us to leave the nest, and go reproduce her on other planets.

        I always thought that Mother Nature didn't like to be anthropomorphized. She's tetchy like that.

      • by Evro (18923) *

        Good old Manifest Destiny!

        • by spun (1352)

          More of an offshoot of the Gaia Hypothesis. [wikipedia.org]

          But the criticism is still valid. I would have to add 'reproduce her on other planets that do not already harbor life' although, as long as we are anthropomorphizing Mother Nature, I don't think the bitch would care if we offed other biospheres in order to reproduce her.

          But we're also her conscience as well as her eggs, so I think we should care. It's also logical, and in our self interest. Who knows when we might meet a superior race? If we have proven that we can

  • by jbeaupre (752124) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:56PM (#31456376)
    Circular features are a great way to find impact sites. Heck, this area must have been hit by hundreds of meteors: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=37.701207,-100.71991&spn=0.375406,0.617294&t=h&z=11 [google.com]
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday March 12, 2010 @05:01PM (#31456460)

    . . . given Africa's leaders' penchant for pilfering natural resources (oil, diamonds, et al) for their own personal profit, I wouldn't be surprised if the crater got stolen.

    Although, that would be an interesting challenge for Swiss bankers: you can deposit diamonds at a bank, but how do you fit a crater in a vault?

  • as a smoking hole in the ground.
  • Link? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Friday March 12, 2010 @05:11PM (#31456576) Homepage Journal

    What is to stop slashdot from linking to the image in Google Maps [google.com] in the original article?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gmuslera (3436)
      Something that let you zoom in and out let you feel the proper magnitude of both the impact, and the deforestation around. Probably the scale of deforestation should had made the headlines, not the impact crater, our past is interesting, but is much more our (lack of?) future.
  • Didn't I see this on History or the Discovery channel some years ago? Why is it being re-reported now? This ring / impact crater is not *new* news.

  • Whew... (Score:2, Insightful)

    Good thing for deforestation, that big circular river would never have given it away.

  • by Bobb Sledd (307434) on Friday March 12, 2010 @05:26PM (#31456826) Homepage

    If you search Google Maps for 'Omeonga Democratic Republic of the Congo,' you will be right in the middle of the suspected crater.

    I did a google search, but I'm still here in this chair in my cubicle.

  • I would expect a meteor impact to look more like this http://goo.gl/1gcU [goo.gl] but maybe just because it's the only one I've seen in person. According to Google Earth the whole area is pretty flat with exception of the circle of depressed area where there is now a river.

    Maybe it's some kind of ancient moat around a giant collapsed culture. The Chinese built a wall - what's to say an ancient culture didn't do the opposite and dig a trench.

    • Well, if it's old enough it could very well be filled in by dirt and soil and the edges could have been eroded. Given the position of sun in the image there is no distinct elevation change in the image.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's not a real DR, but it is a real Congo. It's an actual, factual Congo.

    • It's not a real DR

      Damn, I was thinking this Dr Congo could cure my severe case of boogie fever.

  • Not so fast.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by macraig (621737)

    If you look at the region with more than a passing "gee, neat" glance, you will notice that a stream winds its way around what should be the highest apparent point, the rim. Since when do rivers or creeks follow the rims of craters?

    It would be far better to use Google Earth to view it, which should provide elevation data for points under the mouse, unlike Google Maps. I'd also like to see it in NASA's World Wind, which allows viewing the same region with imagery from multiple different (satellite) sources

  • Here's another location of a crater in Mexico: do a search for "ciudad de carmen." The caves that exist in this area were formed from a meteor impact, and the caves exist along the edge of the impact. It creates a ring formation in the area, and it was also only recently discovered. Half of the crater is in the water, the other half of the crater is on land. Also, very close to this area, people theorize that the "gulf of mexico" was an impact crater that might've caused the dinosaurs to die. The yuca
    • Additionally, I noticed another crater site that is near "la trinitaria" in Mexico. This lake is pretty circular looking and either was formed from a caldera or impact crater. Half of it is filled in by volcanic activity
    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      It creates a ring formation in the area, and it was also only recently discovered. Half of the crater is in the water, the other half of the crater is on land. Also, very close to this area, people theorize that the "gulf of mexico" was an impact crater that might've caused the dinosaurs to die. The yucatan peninsula sure has an odd shape, and in the water, it almost forms a circle around the gulf of mexico.

      Are you talking about Chicxulub, mentioned in the sidebar in TFA and half in the Gulf? That's the on

      • I believe the ring starts around "el vapor" lake to the east, and it goes SW towards "jesus maria," "Tasejero"...then north towards "frontera." A whole bunch of underwater caves line the area and they believe the edge of the caves exist at the edge of the impact crater.
  • I always thought this feature looked pretty crater-like, especially along the eastern edges:

    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=North+Bethesda,+Montgomery,+Maryland&ll=65.980034,-178.857422&spn=0.870944,2.469177&t=h&z=9 [google.com]

    The clouds kinda obscure this one. But if you look it up in other datasets, such as MS Bing Maps, it's a bit more pronounced. And much larger than any of the other verified craters listed.

    • by RockDoctor (15477)

      I always thought this feature looked pretty crater-like, especially along the eastern edges:

      http://maps.google.com/?ll=65.980034,-178.857422&spn=0.870944,2.469177&t=h&z=9 [google.com]

      Doesn't look particularly craterish to me, on eastern or western margins. There is a known crater in the area (http://maps.google.com/?ll=67.5,172.08&z=9), and the area is hardly unexplored, so I doubt that you've picked up anything remarkably new.
      I don't see anything terribly interesting on OneGeology either, structural un

  • by SEWilco (27983) on Friday March 12, 2010 @08:29PM (#31459390) Journal
    Don't do that Google search!
    I did it and then I was right in the middle of that crater.
    I'll tell you more when I get back, the Internet link in the middle of this crater is really slow.
  • Pfft (Score:3, Interesting)

    by florescent_beige (608235) on Friday March 12, 2010 @10:47PM (#31460686) Journal
    That's not a gigantic ancient impact crater. That's [google.com] a gigantic ancient impact crater.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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