A new study conducted by scientists has revealed that a forgotten continent exists beneath the Indian Ocean.
The submerged continent was discovered beneath the island country of Mauritius, and geologists have now referred to this lost continent as ‘Mauritia.’
According to the study, the continent of Mauritia had once been a part of India as well as the African country of Madagascar.
However, it is believed that the remaining parts of the continent may have been submerged beneath the ocean as far back as approximately 84 million years ago.
Lewish Ashwal, the lead of the study states that they are currently in the process of examining how the continent had split apart in order to get a better insight into the geological formations on Earth’s history.
Part of Something Bigger
The study suggests that the lost continent had once been a part of the once colossal supercontinent that was called Gondwana.
The supercontinent had split up and eventually formed the continents of Africa, Antarctica, South America and then Australia.
Gondwana had existed at least 200 million years ago and within it were rocks that were said to date back as far as 3.6 billion years.
Doesn’t Belong There
A clue that helped in the discovery of this continent was by discovering Zircon, an ancient mineral that didn’t fit in to the region it was found in.
The mineral is usually found on rocks that have been covered up by lava after an eruption from a volcano, so the dislocation of it was obvious.
Ashwal and his fellow researchers sighted some leftovers of Zircon that were said to be far too old in order to still remain on Mauritius. Ashwal stated that our planet is made up of two components, one being oceans which are young and the other continents which are said to be old.
“On continents, rocks can be billions of years old, but nothing that old exists in the oceans,” Ashwal remarked.