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Source: The post is based on the article “Lost Continent Found: Zealandia Emerges After 375 Years” published in the Times Now on 20th March 2023.
What is the News?
After 375 years of speculation and exploration, scientists have finally confirmed the existence of a “missing” continent known as Zealandia.
Discovered by: The existence of Zealandia was first recorded in 1642 by Dutch businessman and sailor Abel Tasman, who was on a mission to find the “great Southern Continent,” or Terra Australis.
Size: It is a long, narrow microcontinent that is mostly submerged in the South Pacific Ocean. It is 1.89 million square miles land, , about half the size of Australia.
Located in: It was once part of an ancient supercontinent called Gondwana. The vast majority of this “new” continent is located underwater, lying beneath 6,560 feet (2km) of water.
Reason for submergence: Zealandia began to “pull away” from Gondwana roughly 105 million years ago. As Zealandia started pulling away, it began to sink beneath the waves, with over 94 percent remaining underwater for millennia.
Significance of the discovery: a) Zealandia is now recognized as the world’s eighth continent, b) The part of Zealandia which is above water forms the foundation of New Zealand’s north and south islands as well as the island of New Caledonia, c) The discovery will shed light on the earth’s geological history and the forces that shaped the planet.