We were taught from childhood that there are six continents and six parts of the world on Earth, however, they do not strictly correspond to each other. Where America is divided into northern and southern in terms of continents, they make up one part of the world – America. Eurasia, on the contrary, is one continent that is divided into two parts of the world: Europe and Asia. It seems that everything is folding, but now scientists are refuting this and claim that there is another continent. This is a turn … In fact, scientists have long discovered it, but they just forgot to tell us. Now more accurate data and scientific evidence have been obtained that can change the idea of humanity about our planet.
How many continents on Earth
Interestingly, not everything is so simple everywhere, and not in all countries the number of continents is considered the same. This is not related to the new continent, but it is extremely interesting from the point of view of a different approach to science.
It turns out that in different countries, people think of continents in different ways and unite them in different ways. For example, in China, India, and partially in Western Europe, it is believed that there are seven continents. In these countries, Europe and Asia are considered different continents.
In Spanish-speaking countries and parts of eastern Europe, including Greece, it is customary to unite both Americas into one continent, but still, divide Eurasia and talk about six continents, but from a different side. There are even countries that unite America, as well as Africa and Eurasia, and only 4 continents get the output (Afro-Eurasia, America, Antarctica, Australia). It is customary for us to talk about six continents with the division of the Americas and the unification of Eurasia.
New Earth Continent
According to a recent study, it can be said that a new seventh continent called “Zealand” was found on Earth. We found it only now, although for thousands of years it was literally under our nose.
11 researchers claim that New Zealand and New Caledonia are not just a chain of islands. Instead, they are part of a single continental slab covering 4.9 million square kilometers (1.89 million square miles). However, it is not related to the plate on which Australia is located.
Scientists said that this is not a sudden discovery that happened suddenly, but the result of many years of research. Even 10 years ago, they did not have the opportunity to formulate all their observations together, since there simply was not enough data.
Many other scholars who did not participate in the study accepted the findings of the researchers and agreed with them, with some minor exceptions.
Why Zealand Is Really A New Continent
In fact, they started talking about something “unclean” in this region back in 1995. The first to talk about this was Bruce Luyendyk. True, he said, he did not try to describe the new continent. Proposing the name Zealand, he rather spoke of the geological association of New Zealand, New Caledonia, and the flooded land areas near them. All of this was part of the Gondwana supercontinent that existed 200 million years ago.
Researchers have now advanced the idea of Luendyk a few big steps forward. They revised the well-known evidence by four criteria that geologists use to consider a piece of the earth’s crust a continent.
Signs of the Continent
- Earth rises high enough relative to the bottom of the ocean
- There must be a variety of three types of rocks (igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary)
- The continent is a denser area of the crust than the bottom of the ocean around it
- Clearly defined borders around a fairly large area
Over the past few decades, geologists have already determined that New Zealand and New Caledonia meet the requirements of the first three points. As a result, this led to the fact that more and more scientists consider the region to be a continent and not just a group of islands.
As for the fourth point, there were doubts, and many previous studies have shown that the territory can consist of many microcontinent. In this case, it was impossible to talk about a new full-fledged continent. But the new study used detailed satellite images of different points on the surface and the seabed. As a result, evidence was obtained that Zealand really represents a single entity from a geological point of view.
A mysterious anomaly beneath the African continent weakens the Earth’s magnetic field.
Continent Australia and Continent Zealand
According to scientists, part of the land on which India is located, also many years ago was a separate mainland and even corresponded to all four of these signs. Many millions of years ago, it merged with Eurasia and became a part of it.
Apparently, Zealand has not yet managed to unite with Australia, but according to scientists, everything is heading for this. In the meantime, the failure of the seabed separating the two continents is 25 kilometers wide (15.5 miles)
True, there is one problem with the new continent. It is located at the junction of two tectonic plates (Australian and Pacific). This split makes the region more like a group of continental fragments than a single plate. But researchers note that Arabia, India, and parts of Central America have similar divisions, but are still considered parts of larger continents. The main thing is that Zealand is not divided into microcontinent and is a single continental plate.
Moreover, the researchers write, rock samples show that Zealand was made from the same continental crust that was once part of Gondwana and that it migrated in ways similar to the continents of Antarctica and Australia.
The reason that they could not open the new continent for so long is that many millions of years ago it gradually went underwater, and only territories that now correspond to New Zealand, New Caledonia, and some smaller islands remained at the top. This is only about five percent of the discovered continent.
The scientific value of classifying Zealand as a continent is much more than just an additional name on the list, scientists write. The fact that the continent can be so flooded, but not fragmented, makes it useful. This is suggestive of a geodynamic change in the earth’s crust.
Zealand in the global economy
Now I wonder how New Zealand will behave in terms of international law. On the one hand, United Nations agreements specifically refer to continental shelves as boundaries defining where resources can be obtained. But the new data that has opened up allows us to think about what to do next and what to consider as the territory of the country.
Although, some serious changes in this area are unlikely, but if someone suddenly starts to unwind it, a very interesting story can turn out.