Two continents colliding formed a Himalayan-scale mountain range that fed early life on ancient Earth before eroding away, researchers have found.
#Scientists had speculated about its existence because of the way life thrived and ocean chemistry changed at this time.
Now evidence has been found that shows a massive range spanned at least 2500 kilometres of modern west Africa and northeast Brazil and nurtured an explosion of life 600 million years ago.
Daniela Rubatto of the Australian National University says just like the Himalayas, this range was eroded intensely because it was so huge.
"As the sediments washed into the oceans they provided the perfect nutrients for life to flourish," Professor Rubatto said in a statement.
During the collision that formed the range on the ancient super-continent of Gondwana, rocks from the crust were pushed 100 kilometres deep into the mantle, the research published in Nature Communications says.
There high temperatures and pressures formed new minerals.
Dr Ganade de Araujo brought the rocks to ANU where a research team studied tiny crystals to identify that the rocks were of similar age, and had been formed at similar, great depths.