Earth Has a New Continent Called 'Zealandia'

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Kids are frequently taught that seven continents exist: Africa, Asia, Antarctica, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

Geologists, who look at the rocks (and tend to ignore the humans), group Europe and Asia into its own supercontinent - Eurasia (external - login to view) - making for a total of six geologic continents.

But according to a new study of Earth's crust, there's a seventh geologic continent called 'Zealandia', and it has been hiding under our figurative noses for millennia.

The 11 researchers behind the study argue that New Zealand and New Caledonia aren't merely an island chain.

Instead, they're both part of a single, 4.9-million-square kilometre (1.89 million-square-mile) slab of continental crust that's distinct from Australia.

"This is not a sudden discovery but a gradual realisation; as recently as 10 years ago we would not have had the accumulated data or confidence in interpretation to write this paper," they wrote in GSA Today (external - login to view), a Geological Society of America journal.

Ten of the researchers work for organisations or companies within the new continent; one works for a university in Australia.

But other geologists are almost certain to accept the research team's continent-size conclusions, says Bruce Luyendyk (external - login to view), a geophysicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara (he wasn't involved in the study).

"These people here are A-list earth scientists," Luyendyk tells Business Insider.

"I think they have put together a solid collection of evidence that's really thorough. I don't see that there's going to be a lot of pushback, except maybe around the edges."



Earth has a new continent called 'Zealandia', study reveals - ScienceAlert (external - login to view)

remember kids, science, it's always settled.
Curious Cdn
I think that those dangerous scumbag rapists and murderers from Zealandia should be sent back to where they came from.

Start with them "All Blacks".
Last edited by Curious Cdn; Feb 17th, 2017 at 06:51 PM..
The definition of a continent is funny thing. It's all perception not science. There's no clear "scientific" distinction that would satisfy our perceptions. Look at that map. Europe is not a continent by any definition, but we insist that it is. Parts of Asia are on the North American plate, but we say Siberia and Alaska are on different continents.
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