New discovery of an ancient continent

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New discovery of an ancient continent

Jonathon Rivait/National Post

Jonathon Rivait/National Post

Jonathon Rivait/National Post

Marissa Levine, Reporter

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Scientists have discovered recent evidence of a lost continent, but the land itself is anything but new. This piece of land is over 3.6 million years old, and was once part of the continent Gondwana, which “split into what now are Africa, South America, Antarctica, India and Australia,” according to cnn.com.

This new discovery is right beneath the island of Mauritius, the island that the dodo bird once inhabited. With this information it seems only fitting that the remnants of a lost continent should be found in such close proximity to the home of the extinct bird. To honor Mauritius, the recently discovered continent fragments have been named Mauritia.

Mauritia is now deep under the sea, so its discovery was made by studying rocks, zircons to be specific. Zircon is a mineral that the scientists dated, and found that there were zircons 3 billion years old on Mauritius.

However, Mauritius is an island, and there is no rock older than 9 million years old on the island,” says Professor Lewis Ashwal, one of the main researchers. This number discrepancy is what led the scientists to come to the conclusion on the island of Mauritia.

So Mauritia won’t be the next best vacation destination, but its existence is proof of the hidden wonders left in the world. Scientists believe that when the ancient continent Gondwana split, rocks splintered throughout the Indian Ocean, meaning there could be more lost islands concealed under the sea.