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375 years to find you! Scientists discover the eighth continent of the world
About 94 percent of Zealandia is underwater with the only above water landmasses making up a few Pacific islands including New Zealand.
In the deep South Pacific ocean lies a lost continent that, up until a few years ago, was undiscovered by man. You’ve likely been taught that there are 7 continents on Earth. However, now there is evidence for an eighth continent hidden mostly underwater! You read it right! The eight continent!!!!
The submerged continent of Zealandia broke away from the supercontinent Gondwanaland about 80 million years ago. For the past 23 million years the massive continent has been nearly completely submerged. In total, the continent is 1.9 million square miles and is about half the size of Australia.
New research suggests that the landmass fits all the criteria for a continental mass and would have been labeled as such if it weren’t submerged underwater.
A recent project by the New Zealand research group GNS Science released a fantastic interactive platform to explore and examine different layers of information and imagery over Zealandia.
In 1642, a Dutch sailor, Abel Tasman set sail from his company's base in Jakarta, Indonesia, with two small ships and headed west, then south, then east, eventually ending up at the South Island of New Zealand.
His first encounter with the local Māori people did not go well: on day two, several paddled out on a canoe, and rammed a small boat that was passing messages between the Dutch ships. Tasman ended his mission and named the fateful location Moordenaers (Murderers) Bay, with little sense of irony, and sailed home several weeks later without even having set foot on this new land. While he believed that he had indeed discovered the great southern continent, evidently, it was hardly the commercial utopia he had envisaged. He did not return.
But little did Tasman know, he was right all along and that this was the missing continent!
About 94 percent of Zealandia is underwater with the only above water landmasses making up a few Pacific islands including New Zealand. If the entire continent were above water New Zealand would be about half the size of Australia!