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'Lost continent' discovered beneath Mauritius

Posted on Wednesday, 1 February, 2017 | Comment icon 12 comments

What lies beneath the island of Mauritius ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Simisa
Scientists have found strong evidence of an ancient continent hidden deep beneath the Indian Ocean.
Believed to be the remnants of the supercontinent known as Gondwana which formed around 500 million years ago, this hidden landmass was discovered by scientists studying minerals on Mauritius.

The island itself only came in to existence around 9 million years ago following a series of volcanic eruptions, but now the discovery of zircons there ( a type of durable mineral found in granite ) has suggested that something much older lies deep beneath it.

"Earth is made up of two parts - continents, which are old, and oceans, which are 'young'," said study lead author Professor Lewis Ashwal. "On the continents you find rocks that are over four billion years old, but you find nothing like that in the oceans, as this is where new rocks are formed."

"Mauritius is an island, and there is no rock older than 9 million years old on the island. However, by studying the rocks on the island, we have found zircons that are as old as 3 billion years."

Source: Huffington Post | Comments (12)

Tags: Mauritius, Continent

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 1 February, 2017, 1:15
Please don't tell Mario Dantas.
Comment icon #4 Posted by glorybebe on 1 February, 2017, 2:29
See? Amazing finds keep happening.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Gingitsune on 1 February, 2017, 3:15
Wouldn't it be Lemuria?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Tatetopa on 1 February, 2017, 3:43
Lemuria! They found it.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Socks Junior on 1 February, 2017, 3:44
Gondwana was long-lasting. Detrital zircons from Gondwana itself seems about right. Inheritance, ya know?God knows there is enough ancient material there. I zapped some 2.7 Ga zircons from one of the Gondwana continents a little while back. Once I get back inside a paywall I'll try to find the paper. Oops. It's available online now. Ah. Between Madagascar and Southern India - particularly the Dharwar. That'll get you those ages, certainly.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Podo on 1 February, 2017, 23:31
That's...really cool, actually. I like that we've found such old rock. I'm sure we'll get all kinds of other discoveries from it
Comment icon #9 Posted by back to earth on 3 February, 2017, 20:33
I dont trust these lost continents ..... 'lurking' about like that .
Comment icon #10 Posted by Hammerclaw on 4 February, 2017, 4:29
How do you fit a whole continent under an island?
Comment icon #11 Posted by crystal sage on 6 February, 2017, 2:14
it looks more like Bismuth https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bismuth
Comment icon #12 Posted by Socks Junior on 6 February, 2017, 3:53
Like that, give or take. Presently like this: From Ashwal et al., 2017. Archaean zircons in Miocene oceanic hotspot rocks establish ancient continental crust beneath Mauritius, Nature Communications. Link: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14086

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