In 2005 a 35-mile long rift opened up in the Ethiopian desert. At the time, most people thought this process had taken a long time and was due to local seismic activity. Professor Ayele of the Addis Ababa University proved that the rift had opened up in a matter of days. This led many researchers to speculate whether what had happened in Ethiopia was analogous to how rifts form in the deeps of the ocean. The location of the rift allows many possibilities in research, as ocean floor rifts are inaccessible due to physical limitations.