Recently, geologists discovered the remains of a lost continent, deep at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, underneath the island of Mauritius. The former British colony east of Madagascar with a population of 1.3 million.
As a result, this newly discovered land has been named Mauritia.
Unfortunately, Mauritia, cannot exist as a normal island, nor can we visit the place, as it’s buried underneath millions upon millions of years of volcanic material.
According to the report published this week in the journal Nature Communications, the piece of crust is left over from the breakup of Gondwanaland, a super-continent that existed during the paleolithic era of the planet’s uprising.
Professor Lewis Ashwal, lead author of the paper, says there are a number of pieces of “undiscovered continent” of various sizes spread over the Indian Ocean. They were left over by the breakup of Gondwanaland some 100 million years ago.
“This breakup did not involve a simple splitting of the ancient super-continent of Gondwana,” says Ashwal, but “a complex splintering took place with fragments of continental crust of variable sizes left adrift within the evolving Indian Ocean basin.”
It’s a complete riddle. The continent itself is claimed to be around nine million years old. But the volcanic debris covering it is thought to be over 200 million years old. But then, when Dr. Ashwal dated the zircon he found on the continent. It seemed to be more than three BILLION years old, much older than the island or the volcanic leftovers.
Ashwal claims that there is no way the zircon is actually leftover from when this continent existed, since no rock on this planet is older than nine million years.
The researchers say these findings corroborate a study done in 2013 that found traces of ancient zircons in beach sand. But critics said the mineral could have been blown in by the wind, or carried in by the scientists.
Ashwal claims that finding zircon in rock “refutes any suggestion of wind-blown, wave-transported or pumice-rafted zircons.”
The researchers say their results demonstrate, “the existence of ancient continental crust beneath Mauritius.”
While this continent may be lost forever, and while it may never get a spot on the map, it’s still leaving traces to remind us of its existence in the paleolithic era.
“The fact that we have found zircons of this age proves that there are much older crustal materials under Mauritius that could only have originated from a continent,” said Ashwal.