By: Zack Duvall
A major discovery in natural science was made official this week when GSA Today, The Geological Society of America’s written publication, featured an article announcing the finding of a 1.9 million square mile “super mass” submerged beneath New Zealand.
Scientists and researchers have given the lost world the name, Zealandia, in honor of the fact that this discovery confirms over 20 years of speculation that New Zealand was once a part of a larger mass. However, with the science community in agreement that New Zealand was never a part Australia but no other plausible explanation, the question of how New Zealand came to be was left unanswered.
The article’s main writer, Nick Mortimer, writes in the article that for two decades scientists have been trying to put together a case that proved the existence of the lost continent but that “sometimes the large and obvious in natural science can be overlooked.”
“As well as being the 7th largest continent, Zealandia is the youngest, thinnest, and most submerged.” The article continues. Noting that 94% of the continent itself is actually underwater.
“The Scientific value of classifying Zealandia as a continent is much more than just adding an extra name to the list.” Mortimer continues, and many researchers support his thinking.
Not only does this finding mean that the overall landmass New Zealand is a part of is actually bigger in size than India, but it confirms the theories of many scientists who have studied the question of Zealandia’s existence over the years.
The leading theory being that Zealandia was part of the Gondwana super- continent and broke away roughly 100 million years ago. It is thought to have become the 94% submerged it is now within 1-2 million years later.
Although there is no official global body to designate a landmass a ‘continent’, Mortimer and many researchers are already making plans to include Zealandia on the list of accepted continents among scientists.