00:04 GMT +320 February 2017
Live
    New Zealand

    Atlantis Found! Scientists Discover Earth's Hidden Continent, Zealandia

    © NASA
    Environment
    Get short URL
    87090254

    The waters of the south-west Pacific are hiding the long-overlooked continent of Zealandia, a team of geologists from New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia have concluded.

    The continent is as big as India or the entire of Europe: its total land area is about five million square kilometers, according to the researchers. Now, for the most part, it is 94 percent submerged underwater, while the islands of New Caledonia and New Zealand's North and South Islands make up the above-water elements of the continent.

    Map of southern part of Zealandia
    Map of southern part of Zealandia

    Back in the 19th and 20th centuries, scientists collected data indicating that New Zealand was a fragment of the continental crust. But only now a team led by Nick Mortimer, a geologist at GNS Science (New Zealand Crown Research Institute), have analyzed the results of previous studies and concluded that Zealandia actually exists.

    The authors of the study, published in GSA, backed their findings with satellite observations and the results of gravimetry in particular. Gravimetry is the measurement of the strength of a gravitational field, according to which Zealandia consists of continental crust, rather than oceanic crust or volcanic rocks.

    Zealandia once made up about 5% of the area of Gondwana, an ancient supercontinent that is believed to once include modern-day Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar and Australia, as well as the Arabian Peninsula and India. According to the scientists, Zealandia began to break away from Gondwana about 100 million years ago. This led to its deformation and thinning, resulting in a large part of the continent to sink under water.

    The geologists proposed to recognize Zealandia as a continent, along with Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica, North America and South America.

    Related:

    Huge Fresh Crack in Earth Filmed by US Geologists With Drone
    Forgotten Realms: Geologists Discover Lost Continent Off African Coast
    Iranian Scientists Stumble Upon 1500-Year-Old Celestial Observatory (PHOTO)
    Tags:
    continent, geology, research, discovery, study, New Zealand
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • siberianhusky
      The American military is already on its way to bring democracy to Zealandia
    • avatar
      newdays
      So New Zealand can take a page from China and begin to grow land in the sea. Yippee. The world needs a new super...or does it?
    • avatar
      newdaysin reply tosiberianhusky(Show commentHide comment)
      siberianhusky, I hope not but then rumors are American CIA looking for spies on Mars ... so the smarts are exhibiting extreme shortage of smarts ;)
    • avatar
      dvdgrg09
      Just imagine if the entire surface of the Earth is one gigantic continent, except most of it is underwater so we never noticed it
    • avatar
      K.T
      china is coming ..its an historical piece of land is some ancient Chinese move sh!t
    Show new comments (0)