December 8, 2021

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Hidden boundaries of lost continent ‘Zealandia’ revealed in incredible detail

2 min read

A new ocean-mapping expedition is drawing the boundaries of Zealandia, a submerged “lost continent” that hosts New Zealand and the territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. 

Zealandia broke off from the supercontinent Gondwana between 79 million and 83 million years ago. Except for New Zealand and New Caledonia, this fragment of continental crust now sits on the ocean floor. It’s not the only bit of continental crust that’s detached from a larger continent, but it is the largest at 1.9 million square miles (4.9 million square kilometers). That’s six times larger than the next-largest continental fragment, the microcontinent of Madagascar.

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