- Eleven geologists have reportedly discovered the world's eighth and smallest continent
- The continent, called ‘Zealandia’, is said to must have disappeared some 85 million years ago
- It has also emerged that there could be fossil fuel in the new continent that is worth tens of billions of dollars. And there is more
Scientists have discovered what could soon become the world’s smallest continent with a land mass of 4.9 million square kilometres, of which 94 per cent is submerged in water.
The scientists, who were comprised of 11 geologists, claim they discovered the new continent called Zealandia to the east of Australia.
While presenting their findings in a study dubbed, ‘Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent in Geological Society of America…” the scientists said Zealandia will be the world’s eighth continent, as it had all that was required for it to be recognised as a continent.
The study notes that the new continent had all the necessary attributes, including various types of rocks and 'high elevation to areas flooded by oceanic crust'.
In a related six year old study that was done by the GNS Science research institute in New Zealandia, scientists found that Zealandia had fossil fuels in its off-shore that could be worth tens of billions of dollars.
"It has taken quite some time before the discovery was made. It was not a sudden discovery but a gradual realisation," one of the geologists noted.
According to the scientists, Zealandia was a land mass that broke away from Australia and submerged in water between 65 and 85 million years ago.
The name Zealandia was allegedly coined by one Bruce Luyendyk way back in 1995 when geologists were beginning to seriously consider the possibility of having another continent hidden somewhere.
The latest discovery was reportedly made using satellite technology.
Experts say the implication of this new discovery would be diverse and can be looked at both politically and economically. For instance, there is likely to be a heated debate on defining what belongs to Australia and that which belongs to New Zealand, especially when it comes to exploration and mining rights.
Watch video of the groundbreaking discovery: