Where the Mediterranean Sea now lies was once part of the Tethys Ocean, which existed around 25 million years ago but was gradually reduced by the convergence of the Eurasian and African tectonic plates. According to the experts, the Mediterranean is a type of sea that rarely occurs, an enclosed sea that is like a heat storage tank, producing the balanced Mediterranean climate on its coastal regions. Scientists draw attention to the fact that although north Africa, Mediterranean Europe and western Asia Minor are on the same geographical latitude as Iran, Pakistan and New York, they have a milder climate than those areas where weather conditions are far from balanced. The clash of the lithospheric plates, however, is not so easily halted, according to Demosthenes Mountrakis, professor of tectonic geology at Thessaloniki University. «In 10 million years’ time, the southern shores of Crete will merge with those of Egypt and Libya. The convergence of the Aegean and African plates is happening off the Egyptian shores… throwing up mountain chains many kilometers in length along the bed of the Mediterranean Sea,» added Mountrakis. These will eventually create a continuous land mass between Crete and Egypt, altering the natural environment altogether.