Lost Continent ‘Mauritia’: Scientists Discover 2-Billion-Year-Old Continent Under The Indian Ocean
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Lost Continent ‘Mauritia’: Scientists Discover 2-Billion-Year-Old Continent Under The Indian Ocean

mauritia

Scientists of Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa said they have discovered a lost continent which is hiding under the Indian Ocean. The lost continent has been named as Mauritia, after the Indian Islands of Mauritius. Reports said the continent was lost some billion years ago.

The lost continent is the left over from the breakup of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. The breakup began some 200 million years ago. The evidence found in the ancient zircon minerals found in much younger rocks in the sands of Madagascar, as well as an unusually thick crust around Madagascar which is more than 30 kilometres thick.

If the scientists are right then the continent may be located under the island of Mauritius and the remains may be dispersed widely across the Indian Ocean basin.

The study was published on January 31st in the journal Nature Communications.

Lewis Ashwal
Geologist Lewis Ashwal

In 2013, a team of geologists led by Lewis Ashwal witnessed some irregular gravitational forces on the Mauritius Island. The gravitational force is much higher and stronger than the usual gravitational force found on the earth. They also detected some Zircon crystals on the Island.

This led them to study the island thoroughly. The researchers then conducted a research on the Zircon materials. They then discovered the crystals were three billion years old and not appropriate to locate on the coast of the island.

zircon
A large zircon crystal appears as the brightly coloured grain just right of center. Image via Phys.org/ Wits University

Later, the scientists came up with another theory that these Zircon crystals belong to another hidden continent which is under the Mauritius. The study also revealed that due to the asymmetrical volcanic eruption in the mantle of the earth, these crystals turn up to the exterior of the earth.

Ashwal said, “The lost continent is presented only in the ecological sense, not in the physical one. ‘Mauritia’ is not something that people can visit, see or live on. It is completely buried under millions of years’ worth of volcanic material and is impossible to geographically notice.”

The geologists stated that billions of years ago, the volcanic activities were dynamic on earth. This caused a number of changes like the breakup of the Gondwana continental. The presence of ‘Mauritia’ beneath the Indian Ocean is also caused by such super-volcanic activity on earth.

Suchismita Biswas
Suchismita Biswas
Pen is mightier than swords - these words make me passionate about writing. Except writing I love to travel , love to explore the unknown places, love photography and love listening to music. Also I am an avid reader of books. I'm a simple girl but I am what I am.

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