Zealandia: Geologists uncover hidden misplaced continent underneath New Zealand?

Zealandia is giant and separate sufficient to be thought-about an precise continent.

Geologists have proposed that a area east of Australia is a continent. It can be the world’s youngest, thinnest, and most submerged continent

Scientists uncover hidden misplaced continent named ‘Zealandia’ which is 2-thirds the dimensions of Australia

At A.N million sq. kilometres (M.89 million-sq.-miles), Zealandia can be Earth’s seventh and smallest continent, if confirmed.

It is a area of principally submerged land within the Pacific Ocean, and its coast might include tens of billions of dollars value of fossil fuels.

Its location accommodates each New Zealand and the French abroad territory New Caledonia.

The new continent can be the ‘youngest, thinnest, and most submerged’ of the continents, with ninety four % of the landmass submerged in water, the researchers write.

There are at present six acknowledged continents: Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Eurasia, North America, and South America.

In their paper, titled ‘Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent,’ eleven geologists argue that Zealandia has all 4 attributes essential to be thought-about a continent.


‘It was not a sudden discovery however a gradual realisation,’ the scientists wrote.

The attributes embrace ‘excessive elevation relative to areas floored by oceanic crust’ in addition to the presence of volcanic, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

Zealandia additionally has a thicker, much less dense crust than the encompassing ocean flooring, and an space giant sufficient to differentiate it from a ‘microcontinent’.

The time period Zealandia was first coined by by geophysicist Professor Bruce Luyendyk in 1995.

But at that time the landmass was thought to solely have three of the 4 required traits to be categorised as a continent.

Zealandia was not thought-about to be one giant, unified space – which means it couldn’t declare continent standing.

Satellite know-how and gravity maps of the ocean flooring have lately been used to find out that Zealandia is a unified space, and it’s on this foundation that the geologists make their declare.

‘The scientific worth of classifying Zealandia as a continent is far more than simply an additional identify on an inventory,’ the scientists wrote.

‘That a continent could be so submerged but unfragmented makes it a helpful and thought-frightening geodynamic finish member in exploring the cohesion and breakup of continental crust.’

All however one of many eleven researchers behind the paper characterize organisations based mostly in New Zealand and New Caledonia. The eleventh scientist is predicated in Australia.

Other geologists are probably settle for the workforce’s conclusions, stated Professor Luyendyk, who wasn’t concerned within the research.

‘These individuals listed here are A-listing earth scientists,’ Professor Luyendyk advised Business Insider. ‘I assume they’ve put collectively a strong assortment of proof that is actually thorough.’


Scientists have recognized a brand new continent to the east of Australia that they’ve named ‘Zealandia’. The space encircled in purple is the proposed new continent of Zealandia. At A.9million sq. kilometres, Zealandia can be the smallest continent

The geologists don’t suggest which areas of the potential new continent ought to belong to New Zealand, and which to Australia.

A six-yr research by the GNS Science analysis institute in New Zealand discovered that there might be tens of billions of dollars value of fossil fuels in offshore areas across the landmass.

The research means that the ninety four per cent of Zealandia that’s submerged broke off from Australia and sank 60-eighty five million years in the past.

The research was revealed within the Geological Society of America’s Journal.


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