Scientists Discover an Eighth “Continent” After a 375-Year Absence

Scientists have discovered Zealandia, a long-lost continent drowned beneath the sea. Geoscientists have revealed the presence of a continent that has been hidden for over 375 years in a spectacular scientific discovery. Zealandia, commonly known as Te Riu-a-Maui, is the newly discovered continent. This ground-breaking finding was made by a small team of geologists and seismologists who analyzed rock samples collected from the ocean below. Their study findings were published in the journal Tectonics.

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According to the BBC, Zealandia, this once-hidden monster, encompasses an incredible 1.89 million square miles (4.9 million square kilometres), making it almost six times the size of Madagascar. This discovery brings the total number of recognized continents to eight, with Zealandia being the smallest, thinnest, and youngest of them all.

The bulk of Zealandia, a remarkable 94%, is buried beneath the ocean’s surface, with just a few scattered islands like those found in New Zealand. The discovery of this submerged continent surprised scientists because the continent’s existence had been unknown for generations.

Andy Tulloch, a geologist connected with the New Zealand Crown Research Institute GNS Science and a part of the team responsible for finding Zealandia, remarked on the discovery, saying, “This is an example of how something very obvious can take a while to uncover,” according to the BBC.

Zealandia study has always been a difficult task for scientists. Scientists are now investigating collections of rocks and silt samples gathered largely from drilling sites, as well as some from the beaches of surrounding islands.

The analysis of these rock samples showed remarkable geological trends in West Antarctica. This evidence points to the existence of a subduction zone along the Campbell Plateau, which is located off the west coast of New Zealand. Researchers have ruled out the likelihood of a strike slip occurring at the Campbell Fault since no magnetic anomalies were identified there.

The New Zealandia map not only pinpoints the position of the continent’s magmatic arc axis, but it also emphasizes other interesting geological characteristics.

Zealandia’s intriguing history indicates that it was formerly a part of Gondwana, a supercontinent that spanned the whole southern hemisphere roughly 550 million years ago. Over time, geological forces caused Zealandia to divide and submerge beneath the ocean’s surface, where it remained submerged for generations.

This rediscovery of Zealandia gives important insights into our planet’s complex geological past. It emphasizes the fact that, even in the twenty-first century, Earth still has secrets waiting to be discovered by inquisitive and determined scientists.

As scientists continue to investigate Zealandia and evaluate the data gathered from this astonishing find, the scientific community anticipates future disclosures regarding the continent’s geological history and role in sculpting the Earth’s surface.

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