From our childhood days we all have been made to learn by our geography teacher the six continents – Africa, North America South America, Antarctica, Eura-Asia, Australia together with Oceania. But, there is a new entry to the list that scientists are eager to add- ZEALANDIA.
A team of 11 researchers using upgraded satellite-based elevation and gravity map technology have discovered a landmass attached to New Zealand. They have named the newly discovered seventh continent as Zealandia. The area is 4.9 million square kilometres. 94% of which is under water, thus making Zealandia the world’s smallest continent.
Previously the area was considered to be a group of islands, but Geologists found that New Zealand and the neighboring New Caledonia are part of a vast 1.89 million square-mile single slab of continental crust that is separate from Australia.
A continent is a land of mass completely separate from other regions. With the discovery of a large slab connecting New Zealand and New Caledonia, geologists agree upon the fact that it can be considered an altogether a separate continent.
This is what the researchers had to say,“Based on various lines of geological and geophysical evidence, particularly those accumulated in the last two decades, we argue that Zealandia is not a collection of partly submerged continental fragments but is a coherent continent.”
This is yet another example of how there are still hidden sectors in our planet Earth and the more it is researched the more mysteries are un-earthed! (No pun intended!)