Friday, December 14, 2018

Zealandia: The Eighth Continent

A study done by earth scientists in New Zealand and Australia claims that a continent is hidden under the ocean. In their paper, titled 'Zealandia: Earth's Hidden Continent,' the geologists argue that Zealandia has all four attributes necessary to be considered a continent.

It is believed that the 94 per cent of Zealandia that is submerged broke off from Australia and sank 60-85 million years ago.

At 4.9 million square kilometers, Zealandia would be the smallest continent. Zealandia's crust is much shallower than the surrounding oceanic crust, and more closely resembles continental crust rather than oceanic crust. Further, a narrow strip of oceanic crust separates Australia from Zealandia.

The proposed world map below shows Zealandia, the eighth continent. Though most of the continent is submerged, scientists say it has all the geologic hallmarks of a separate continent.

A six-year study by the GNS Science research institute in New Zealand found that there could be tens of billions of dollars worth of fossil fuels in offshore regions around the landmass.

Read more here and here.

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