Zealandia, a 7th continent off Australia?
Almost impossible to see. It is drowned in the depths of the Pacific, near New Zealand. But after twenty years of exploration, researchers are now convinced: a new continent is there, 94% immersed. Scientists already call it “the hidden continent of the Earth”.
In an article in the journal The Geological Society of America , the researchers explain that this continent is five million square kilometers or two-thirds of Australia. 94% of its surface is submerged and only three major territories are on the surface: the northern and southern islands of New Zealand and New Caledonia.
The fragment of a super continent?
Scientists say that Zealandia can be considered a continent because its highest point in New Zealand is much higher than sea level. This high point is Mount Aoraki, which is 3,724 meters high . In addition, ” the tectonic and spatial separation with Australia ” confirms that ” the Zealandia continental crust is actually physically separate from Australia ,” a thicker crust and seismic slower speed than the oceanic crust. According to the researchers, Zealandia would be the ” seventh largest geological continent ” and ” younger and more immersed ” continents. Zealandia could be the fragment of a super continent that disappeared 200 million years ago.
So if we know Eurasia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica and Oceania, we may soon have to add to this list a seventh continent of the Size of India …