Geologists have confirmed the existence of the continent of Zealand. But it’s not just New Zealand. You can read in the article where the forgotten continent is hidden and why scientists have not discovered it before.
The existence of a continent known as Te Riu-a-Maui in Maori and Zealandia in English has been speculated since the early 20th century. Now, after years of reluctance, scientists have confirmed it. Zealandia is the youngest, smallest, thinnest continent in the world. In the South Pacific, about 94 percent of its 4.9 million square kilometers is under water.
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Dinosaurs also lived in Zealandia
More than 500 million years ago, Zealandia was part of the supercontinent Gondwana, which covered much of West Antarctica and eastern Australia. But it wasn’t always underwater, for a short time in Earth’s history Zealandia was above the ocean and animals ran on its flat surface and plants spread to New Caledonia and eastern Australia.
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It is said to have been first discovered in 1642 by Abel Tasman, a Dutch merchant and sailor who was eager to discover the “Great Southern Continent”. Scientific papers and reports have suggested the existence of an eighth continent since the early 20th century, when improved bathymetric maps showed that our lands were not just a few pieces of land rising from a pool of deep oceanic crust.
In 2017, a geological team from GNS Science significant research he discovered that the continent had been in sight the whole time. Scientists have agreed on the existence, boundaries and composition of Zealandia, which began to “retreat” from Gondwana. They are still trying to figure out why this happened.
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Because most of the newly discovered continent is under water, geologists from the New Zealand Crown Research Institute’s GNS Science used it as an example of how something “too obvious” can take a while to discover.