Scientist discover lost Zealandia continent in its entirety

Scientist discover lost Zealandia continent in its entirety 2024

While you might be familiar with well-known continents, Zealandia, also known as Te Riu-a-Māui in the Māori language, emerged onto the global stage in 2017. This previously unknown landmass, situated off the shores of New Zealand, has captivated scientists and garnered international attention.

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Zealandia’s Hidden Dimensions: More Than Meets the Eye

Covering an expansive 5 million square kilometers, Zealandia surpasses expectations by being twice the size of the Indian subcontinent. The catch? A staggering 95 percent of its vast expanse lies submerged beneath the southwest Pacific Ocean, predating the existence of humans on Earth. Only the prominent mountain chain, represented by the two islands of New Zealand, and a scattering of small oceanic islands mark its presence on the Earth’s surface.

Charting the Unknown: Geologists Unravel Zealandia’s Secrets

  1. Inaccessible Depths: Zealandia has remained a mystery, primarily due to its nearly inaccessible nature. However, a collaborative effort by geologists worldwide has yielded a groundbreaking geological map, shedding light on the enigmatic continent.
  2. Mapping Methods: The geological map, a result of meticulous efforts, combines data from rock samples retrieved from the sea and innovative geophysical mapping techniques. This comprehensive approach has allowed scientists to piece together a clearer picture of Zealandia’s geological composition.

Rock Chronicles: Unearthing Zealandia’s Ancient Past

  1. Sandstone Secrets: Geologists delving into Zealandia’s depths have uncovered vast sandstone formations, estimated to be around 95 million years old. These formations provide crucial insights into the continent’s history, suggesting the presence of rivers that once flowed from volcanic highlands, filling tectonic basins during Zealandia’s dry land phase.
  2. Basaltic Revelations: The discovery of basaltic rock pebbles has further enriched our understanding of Zealandia’s evolution. These pebbles, associated with underwater volcanism, point to a gradual flooding of the continent approximately 40 million years ago.

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Conclusion: Zealandia’s Ancient Transformation

As geologists continue to decipher Zealandia’s geological map, the continent’s ancient transformation comes into sharper focus. From active volcanic highlands to submerged basaltic evidence, Zealandia’s story unfolds, offering a glimpse into Earth’s distant past.

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