Apparently everything we know is a lie. Now, it’s time to get rid of all the old geography textbooks that says Africa, Antarctica, Australia, North America, South America, Europe and Asia (or Eurasia) are the only known continents of the world. Because, scientists claim to have identified a new 8th continent which they call ‘Zealandia’.
At around 5 million square kilometers of landmass, 94 percent of which is recognized to be covered underwater, Zealandia might be the world’s youngest and smallest continent.
In a paper published by 11 geologists who were behind the claim, presented their findings in the study ‘Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent’ in the Geological Society of America. In that paper, a proposal has been made that a region of the Pacific Ocean located in the east of Australia and somewhat including New Zealand and New Caledonia should be considered a continent in its own right.
“This is not a sudden discovery but a gradual realization, as recently as 10 years ago we would not have had the accumulated data or confidence in interpretation to write this paper,” the researchers wrote in the journal.
According to their study, the landmass has got all the attributes that are required to be considered as a continent. These include:
- Elevation above the surrounding area.
- Distinctive geology.
- A well-defined area.
- A crust thicker than the regular ocean floor.
As per the study, 94 per cent of Zealandia currently submerged broke away from Australia and sank 60-85 million years ago.
“Scientists have been researching data to make the case for Zealandia for more than two decades,” said the main author of the article, New Zealand geologist Nick Mortimer.
“The scientific value of classifying Zealandia as a continent is much more than just an extra name on a list”, the scientists wrote. “That a continent can be so submerged yet unfragmented makes it useful in exploring the cohesion and breakup of continental crust.”
Title image: pinterest