tsunami wave
The tsunami was similar in size to that which hit Japan in 2011.Reuters

A huge tsunami wiped out Britain 8,200 years ago, creating a 'North Sea Atlantis' in a stretch of land that once connected the isles with mainland Europe.

The tsunami was created after a subsea landslide, known as the Storegga Slide, off the coast of Norway. It generated a waves about 40m high, half as big as the Statue of Liberty, the MailOnline reports.

The study, which has been submitted to the journal Ocean Modelling, found that the tsunami wiped out the low-lying land known as Doggerland, which was just off the coast of the UK. In the Early Holocene era, Doggerland connected the UK to the rest of Europe.

Computer models show that the tsunami wiped out all the inhabitants of the area, which was just five metres above sea level and lay to the east of East Anglia.

Doggerland
Doggerland connected the UK to the rest of Europe in the Early Holocene eraMax Naylor

Researchers at Imperial College London looked at underwater depths through history to work out how intense the tsunami was.

The wave travelled through the Norwegian sea in just a few hours, reaching Belgium and Holland after about 15 hours. Waves hitting Doggerland would have been about five metres high.

Speaking to the MailOnline, study author Jon Hill said: "[Doggerland] would have been completely inundated by a five-metre wave ... it would have been devastated."

Vince Gaffney of the University of Birmingham, who wrote a book about Doggerland, commented: "If we look at what the study tells us they're talking about waves that are, in Scotland, as much as 40 metres high."

While it is not known if any people lived on the island at the time, "any humans living there would have suffered a catastrophic event," Hill told the Independent.

The Storegga Slide saw 3,000 cubic km of sediment collapsing into the sea. Hill said this is about 300 times more than all the rivers in the world hold in a year.

"That's a lot of sediment ... The chances of it happening again are minuscule."