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Does Earth Have Its 8th Continent? Geologists Claim They Have Discovered One

First Posted: Feb 17, 2017 05:08 AM EST
Zealandia
The scientists want Zealandia to be recognized as the eighth continent of the world.
(Photo : VARBAGE/YouTube screenshot)

Reports show that geologists claim that they are able to discover a new continent located in the Southwest Pacific Region. It is called Zealandia.

The 4.92 m km2 region was believed to be constructed by the continental crust and inflated, relative to its surroundings. The discovered continent contains the oceanic crust that is diverse and silica-rich rocks as well as relatively low-velocity and thick crustal structure.

According to the Geological Society of America (GSA), the isolation from Australia and large area supports its definition as a continent named Zealandia. The mass of the land was previously part of Gondwana and is submerged by 94 percent, simply because of the widespread crustal thinning, according to NewsTalk.com.

The GSA shared that, "The identification of Zealandia as a geological continent, rather than a collection of continental islands, fragments, and slices, more correctly represents the geology of this part of Earth."

The agency also added that "Zealandia provides a fresh context in which to investigate processes of continental rifting, thinning, and breakup." As follows, the surface of the Earth is split into two different types of crust -- it is the oceanic and the continental crust. Also, it contains 14 major tectonic plates.

In the past 50 years, there has been a great highlight and progress in measuring and modeling the aspects of the plate tectonics at such various scales, given the advances in understanding the continental rifting, the continent-ocean boundaries and the revelation of a number of micro-continental fragments.

Thus, the GSA added that "Zealandia illustrates that the large and the obvious in natural science can be overlooked."

The link between these say that the basing on the geophysical evidence, Zealandia is not a collection of the partly sunk continental fragments, but it is coherent.

The geologists also stated that, "Currently used conventions and continents, definitions of continental crust, and micro-continents require no modification to accommodate Zealandia."

Meanwhile, the 11 scientists who were behind the claim presented their result in the study Zealandia: Earth's Hidden Continent at the Geological Society of America. They aim for Zealandia to be known as the world's eighth continent, according to The Telegraph.

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