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The Hidden Continent – Zealandia

A new continent have been discovered earlier this year which is almost two-third the size of Australia and has been found beneath the south-west Pacific Ocean, scientists reported in the journal of the Geological Society of America.

The continent is mostly submerged, but the size of this new landmass meets all the criteria for a continent. So you wont be able to visit unless you have your scuba masks on !

 

The land mass of 4.5 million square kilometres is 94% underwater and only its highest points – New Zealand and New Caldeonia – which is above the surface.

Zealandia is shown in grey to the east of Australia

 

“It was not a sudden discovery but a gradual realization,” the scientists wrote.

The Christian Science Monitor reported in November. One of those new land features, an underwater reef, was thrown up some 20 feet above sea level in a matter of seconds during the quake:

After the dust had settled, some residents of the South Island realized that their beaches looked very different. The earthquake had been so powerful that it lifted the sea floor one to six feet above its previous position, leaving a massive cliff in the middle of the beach….

The pinkish seabed is an unusual sight for residents of the tourist town of Kaikoura. Now rising between one and six feet above the rest of the beach, the new sea wall is covered with seaweed and marine animals like crayfish and sea snails.

An elevation map of Zealandia and nearby Australia

 

“That a continent can be so submerged yet unfragmented which makes it useful in exploring the cohesion and breakup of continental crust,” the authors wrote.

‘Zealandia’ is believed to have broken away from Australia about 80 million years ago and sank beneath the sea as part of the break up of the super-continent known as Gondwanaland.

Hope we would be able to visit this new continent some day 🙂

Keep Traveling

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