Scientists believe that they have found a hidden continent. Named Zealandia, it was presented as being a huge landmass. But where is this mysterious continent? Perhaps completely submerged in the Pacific.
Reportedly, Zealandia is not really a recent discovery. Scientists seem to have spent quite some time in trying to attest its existence. A reason for all their hardships? The lack of a scientific body of proof. One such list could have helped them attain a status change.
The common belief seems to be as follows. A continent is a land of mass situated above the water. But in finding the new continent, the scientists used a different set of data.
For example, they looked for a distinctive geology. And if it has a well-defined area. They also measured its elevation above its surrounding areas. And if it has a thicker crust than the ocean floor.
The scientists to carry out this study mostly come from the GNS Science. This is an official New Zealand research body. They were led by Nick Mortimer.
Study results were released earlier this week. They were published in the Geological Society of America’s Journal or GSA Today. Available online since February 17, the paper was titled as follows. “Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent”.
The paper offered the following details on the continent. Zealandia is believed to be a huge landmass. Measuring around 1.9 million square miles, most of it is submerged. An estimated 94 percent, to be more exact.
But as proven by the study, it does have above-water territories. Ones which are more commonly known. And these could be the North and South New Zealand Islands in the south. And also New Caledonia in the north.
According to the scientists, Zealandia may have once been part of Gondwana. Initially, our planet hosted a massive super-continent. Later on, this broke down into two super-continents. Which in their part split into our currently known continents.
Gondwana is believed to have included most of the Southern Hemisphere’s current landmasses. And Zealandia could be one of its hidden parts. This potentially new continent is believed to have broken away some 100 million years ago.
The aforementioned lead, Mortimer, went to offer some details. According to him, gathering data about Zealandia was hard. This mostly due to its submerged nature. Coupled with the lack of a clear guideline, it has made research on the matter quite hard.
Nonetheless, the scientists kept pursuing their target. They set out to attest Zealandia’s existence. And according to them, its importance goes well beyond that of just adding a new name to the map.
Its scientific value could be instrumental in future discoveries. The researchers draw attention to the submerged but unfragmented nature of Zealandia.
Exploring this property could lead to some important data. For example, in could offer more information about the cohesion process of the continental crust. Or, on the contrary, about its breakup.
Mortimer stated that he wishes that Zealandia will become an attested part of Earth. One that could be better seen if for the water. The continent is said to have mountain chains. And also a high-standing, big continent.
Presently, Mortimer is hoping that Zealandia will start being presented on world maps. He also expressed his excitement at finding and revealing a new continent.
If it will be recognized, Zealandia would become the Earth’s eight continent. It could also lead to a change in the scientific body that recognizes continents. Or perhaps even to an official set of rules on the matter.
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