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Dr Ritesh Arya’s Discovery of Echinoderms at 17,000 Feet Altitude in LadakH offers new insights into tectonic evolution.

YS RANA | October 05, 2023 10:11 AM

CHANDIGARH: Dr. Ritesh Arya, a Guinness World Record holder and distinguished geologist, has unveiled a groundbreaking discovery that promises to rewrite the geological history of Eastern Ladakh. At an astonishing altitude of 17, 000 feet above mean sea level, Dr. Arya has unearthed an unprecedented treasure trove of Echinoderms, particularly Sea Urchins. This discovery challenges established beliefs about the region's geological past and offers new insights into its tectonic evolution and ancient environments.

This monumental finding represents the largest discovery of Echinoderms ever documented in the Ladakh Himalayas. The presence of Sea Urchins at such a remarkable altitude is nothing short of extraordinary, and its implications extend far beyond the realm of geological research.

Dr. Arya's research suggests that these towering icy mountain ranges were once submerged beneath the ancient waters of the Tethys Ocean. Sea Urchins are renowned for thriving in diverse marine environments and climates. The presence of their fossils at this extraordinary altitude provides compelling evidence of a distant era when Eastern Ladakh was part of the vast Tethys Ocean.

Tectonic Insights: The discovery of Sea Urchins at 17, 000 feet elevates our understanding of the region's geological history. It offers tantalizing clues about the dynamic nature of the Tethys Ocean, which was in existence at that time. This finding challenges conventional theories and suggests that the Himalayan range may not have originated in the way previously thought. In fact, they were not even born when these Echinoids were flourishing.

Reconstructing Paleo-Environments- The study of these Sea Urchins and their fossils will unlock valuable insights into the climate and ecosystems that once prevailed in this region during its submersion under the Tethys. This knowledge is invaluable for unraveling the Earth's history and its impact on current environmental conditions, especially in understanding the timing of the evolution and upliftment of the Himalayas, which were non-existent when these sea urchins and thousands of gastropods were thriving in the waters of Tethys.

Previous Discoveries: Last month, Dr. Ritesh Arya made another remarkable discovery in the same region, uncovering thousands of gastropods and foraminifera while studying groundwater. These fossils, along with the Sea Urchins, all suggest marine and near-coastal environments at the time of deposition of the fossils and sediments. Together, these fossil faunas strongly indicate the presence of the Tethys Sea in the region, and they challenge the prevailing belief that the Himalayas were even conceived at that time.

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