By: Michael East
Geologists claim to have discovered a new continent to the east of Australia: Zealandia. At 4.9 million square kilometres of land mass, 94 per cent of which is under water, Zealandia would be the world’s smallest continent.
The 11 scientists behind the claim presented their findings in the study “Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent” in Geological Society of America, making a case for Zealandia to be recognized as the world’s eighth continent in its own right.
According to their study, the land mass comprises all the four attributes needed to be considered a continent, including the presence of different rock types and crucially “the high elevation relative to regions floored by oceanic crust.”
“It was not a sudden discovery but a gradual realization,” the scientists wrote.
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