One of the easiest questions that we used to answer during our school times was the one related to Continents. It was quite easy. But now the things are about to change or have just changed! There is a new continent that our geologists have just discovered. The name of that continent is Zealandia.
There are two important facts about it that make it interesting. One, it is the youngest continent and second, it is the smallest continent in terms of land area. It has an area of 4.9 million square kilometers.
However, the new continent has still not been officially confirmed as a CONTINENT. A team of eleven geologists had submitted their paper where they proposed that an area of the Pacific Ocean which is in the eastern direction of Australia and includes New Zealand and New Caledonia should be considered as a continent.
We all know that currently there are just 7 continents that go like, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, North America, South America and Antarctica. What is more interesting about Zealandia is the fact that almost 94% of land area is submerged under water hence making it the most submerged of all the continents. The title of the paper submitted by the geologist team is ‘Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent‘ that explains a lot about this new continent.
For a place to be considered as a continent, it should have an area larger than a microcontinent and must have all three types of rocks namely – igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic and should also have “high elevation relative to regions floored by oceanic crust”. According to the Geologists, Zealandia has it all.
This is what one of the geologists wrote. “The scientific value of classifying Zealandia as a continent is much more than just an extra name on a list. That a continent can be so submerged yet unfragmented makes it a useful and thought-provoking geodynamic end member in exploring the cohesion and breakup of continental crust.”
So isn’t this interesting. Our family of continents is just about to get new members. What are your views about it? Please share your opinion in the comment section below.
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