Zealandia: The Eighth Continent in the World
Based on geological conventional norms for a continent, the Earth is found to have eighth continent, known as Zealandia. Most of this continent is submerged beneath the sea, while a tiny sliver, including New Zealand and New Caledonia, is above the water. Credit: GSA Today 2017.
We all know that we have seven continents in the world so far:
The new study suggests that we have eighth continent which has come to be called with the name ZEALANDIA. It is located between Australia, Antarctica and South America. It is in proximity with Australia. It was born about 100 million years ago from the breakup of the supercontinent of Gondwana and later it was separated from Australia about 85 million years ago.
The scientist Mortimer said, at that time, an ocean began to emerge between Australia and New Zealand.
It has an area of 1.8 million square miles seemingly of pint size when compared with the other seven continents. Most of the land is under the sea water, with only a small amount of the land lying above the sea level. As per the Geological Society of America, it looks like New Zealand and its neighbor New Caledonia collectively own the continent “Zealandia”.
What are the conditions to consider a land mass as Continent?
Though there is no specific definition given by geologists for a land terrain to be called a continent, the following features may be considered as the requisite criteria:
The land under study has to be higher than the ocean level;
The land has to include a broad range of siliceous, igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks;
The land has to have thicker crust than at the ocean level that surrounds it;
The land should have well defined limits and be large enough to be considered a continent.
The authors concluded in the paper published as follows:
This continent is the youngest, thinnest and most submerged. Zealandia as a continent is much more than just an extra name on the list.