If you think you know the seven continents of Earth and there are no eights edition of this series, then you might be wrong, because a team of geologists has discovered a new super-large continent, which is believed to be the eighth continent of the world. Say hello to ‘Zealandia’ – a gigantic and eccentric celibate, found under the South-West Pacific Ocean. Zealandia is filled with valleys and mountain ranges, which are completely unexplored earlier.
However, according to the research paper, published in the Geological Society of America’s Journal, the newly found continent is not a complete stranger to the scientists. The highest mountain point of the land is showing on top of water – ‘New Zealand’. Yes, New Zealand, which previously was projected to be an Island nation, is not spotted to be an angle of a hidden continent, located under South-West Pacific Ocean.
According to the lead author of the paper, Nick Mortimer, a geologist at GNS Science in Dunedin, New Zealand, “The bit of land, discovered under the South-West Pacific Ocean qualifies to be recorded as a continent and we have already applied for a renewed push to make it recognised as world’s eighth continent, following North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
The continent called ‘Zealandia’ is spread over five million sq km (1.9m sq miles) land, which is two-thirds of the entire Australia. However, out of its total land, 4.5 million square kilometres (1.74 million square miles) or 94% is residing underwater and its only highest points — ‘New Zealand’ and ‘New Caledonia’ are geographically noticeable. However, most of the 2 million square miles of the continent lie down under the Pacific Ocean’s water body. As per the research paper, Zealandia encompasses New Zealand and the land mass of New Caledonia some 1,500 miles to the north side.