Hidden continent Zealandia discovered underwater

Hidden continent Zealandia discovered underwater

A new study claims that Earth has eight continents but the eighth is hidden under water in the Pacific Ocean, with only small bits, including New Zealand and New Caledonia, being above sea level.

According to geologists, the eighth continent, dubbed Zealandia, lies beneath the waves in the Pacific Ocean. Only a few specks of land, including for New Zealand, Campbell Plateau and Lord Howe Rise, are above sea surface.

Zealandia is not a massive landmass. It has an estimated area of 4.9 million square kilometers, which would make it smallest continent on our planet if it wouldn’t be under water.

Nick Mortimer, a geologist with Dunedin, New Zealand-based GNS Science, said, “I hope Zealandia will now start to appear on world maps which show the other continents. There is an extra one, and it is as real as all the others.”

As per the “Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent” study, the distance between the hidden continent and Australia is negligible. These two landmasses are quite close to each other (just 25 km apart) across the Cato Trough, which is located at the off the coast of Queensland.

The discovery of the hidden continent was detailed in a recent issue of the in GSA Today, a periodical published by the Geological Society of America.