Zealandia - Eighth Continent Of Earth Discovered

Posted: Feb 17 2017, 7:38am CST | by , Updated: Feb 17 2017, 8:33am CST , in Latest Science News

Zealandia Discovered as a New Hidden Continent of Earth
Simplified map of Earth’s tectonic plates and continents, including Zealandia. Continental shelf areas shown in pale colors. Large igneous province (LIP) submarine plateaus shown by blue dashed lines: AP—Agulhas Plateau; KP—Kerguelen Plateau; OJP—Ontong Java Plateau; MP—Manihiki Plateau; HP—Hikurangi Plateau. Selected microcontinents and continental fragments shown by black dotted lines: Md—Madagascar; Mt—Mauritia; D—Gulden Draak; T—East Tasman; G—Gilbert; B—Bollons; O—South Orkney. Credit: GSA
  • Submerged Continent of Zealandia may get Recognized Soon

The submerged continent of Zealandia may get recognized soon. It is two-thirds the land mass of Australia.

Zealandia, which is a submerged continent, has almost gained recognition as a viable land mass. It exists in the Southwest Pacific. The study regarding this was published in the journal of the Geological Society of America.

This large land mass, which is concentrated around the area that is New Zealand, is proof that such a huge area may be ignored by science and scientists despite it being obvious if you just look beneath the waters surrounding New Zealand.

Zealandia covers 5m square kilometers. 94% of it lies beneath the waterways. Not just New Zealand but New Caladonia, Norfolk Island and several other islets form the visible portion of this continent.

The region is as large as the Indian subcontinent. It may have separated itself from Gondwana way back in prehistoric times. Gondwana sank about 60m to 85m years ago.

One of the geologists spoke of how it is quite a humongous piece of land though it is submerged. “This is a big piece of ground we’re talking about, even if it is submerged,” Nick Mortimer, a New Zealand geologist who co-authored the paper, told The Guardian.

Many important names in geology have argued that this submerged continent ought to be recognized for what it is. The debate has been going on since the past two decades or so.

Once a bathymetric map was made in 2002, the pieces began to fit into one another like a jigsaw puzzle. It was indeed a case of connecting the dots to get a better and bigger picture of the facts surrounding Zealandia.

The accumulation of data led to the pinpointing of Zealandia. It is the smallest continent of the world with the only difference being that it is submerged beneath the waters surrounding New Zealand.

New Zealand it seems is not an isolated nation of a few islands. The scientific community is now finally united in its ratification of this continent as a land mass although it is a submerged one.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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