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Zealandia: Is there an eighth continent underneath New Zealand?

Mount CookImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

Mount Cook, a top rise of New Zealand – and Zealandia

You consider we know your 7 continents? Think again, as there’s a new contender anticipating to join that club.

Say hello to Zealandia, a outrageous landmass roughly wholly submerged in a southwest Pacific.

It’s not a finish stranger, we competence have listened of a top mountains, a usually pieces display above water: New Zealand.

Scientists contend it qualifies as a continent and have now done a renewed pull for it to be recognized as such.

In a paper published in a Geological Society of America’s Journal, researchers explain that Zealandia measures 5 million sq km (1.9m sq miles) that is about dual thirds of beside Australia.

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GNS

Some 94% of that area is underwater with usually a few islands and 3 vital landmasses adhering out above a surface: New Zealand’s North and South Islands and New Caledonia.

You competence consider being above H2O is essential to creation a cut as a continent, though a researchers looked during a opposite set of criteria, all of that are met by a new child in town.

  • elevation above a surrounding area
  • distinctive geology
  • a well-defined area
  • a membrane thicker than a unchanging sea floor

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ESA/NASA

Image caption

New Zealand as prisoner from space by wanderer Tim Peake

The categorical author of a article, New Zealand geologist Nick Mortimer, pronounced scientists have been researching information to make a box for Zealandia for some-more than dual decades.

“The systematic value of classifying Zealandia as a continent is most some-more than usually an additional name on a list,” a researchers explained.

“That a continent can be so submerged nonetheless unfragmented” creates it useful for “exploring a congruity and dissection of continental crust”.

So how afterwards to get Zealandia into a criterion of continents? Should content books authors get shaken again? After all, usually a few years ago, Pluto got kicked off a list of planets, changing what had been taught in schools for decades.

There is in fact no systematic physique that rigourously recognises continents. So it could usually change over time if destiny investigate accepts Zealandia on standard with a rest so that eventually we competence be training about eight, not seven, continents.

Article source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39000936

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