Scientists Revealed Earth’s Eighth Continent; New Map Shows Where Zealandia Lies

Abhay Singh
3 Min Read
Zealandia Map

Scientists have discovered an eighth continent, which was once part of the ancient Gondwana landmass. The name of this continent is Zealandia, about 94 per cent of which is under the sea. At the same time, 6 per cent is made up of islands around New Zealand. It is said to have been first discovered in 1642 by Abel Tasman, a Dutch merchant and sailor who wanted to visit the great southern continent. However, he could not find this place. Until 2017, geologists did not even know that the continent was hidden all along.

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On Tuesday, an international team of geologists and seismologists published an updated map of Zealandia in the journal ‘Tectonics’. From data on rock samples dug up from the seabed, he was able to estimate its form and composition. He came to this conclusion by studying the geological patterns in Western Antarctica. He raised the possibility of a subduction zone near the Campbell Plateau on the west coast of New Zealand. Subduction occurs when an oceanic plate collides with a continental plate and slides beneath it.

How Did You Study?

The researchers further improved existing maps of Zealandia by studying a collection of rock and sediment samples brought from the seafloor. At the same time, most of these samples came from drilling sites and the coasts of islands. Geologists from the New Zealand Crown Research Institute GNS Science acknowledged that much of the new continent is underwater, yet much of it will take time to be cleared. He said, ‘This is a process which we have not yet fully understood.’

Started Sinking 100 Million Years Ago

According to a BBC report, Zealandia is spread over 49 lakh square km. In 2017, a group of geologists came into the limelight when they announced the eighth continent. Zealandia was originally part of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana, which formed 550 million years ago. Scientists say that this continent started sinking underwater 105 million years ago. However, scientists are still trying to find the reason for this.

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By Abhay Singh Journalist
Abhay has been with News Waker for over a few months and has covered various topics, from politics to business to sports. He is known for his engaging writing style and ability to explain complex issues in a way that's easy to understand.