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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Mauritia The Lost Ancient Continent Found In The Depths Of The Ocean

With the advent of technology that we have, researchers, scientists, archaeologists are continuously discovering things that we never thought existed. The continent was derived from the term continent land, meaning continuous or connected land and translated from the Latin terra continens. As a noun, it means a connected or continuous tract of land or mainland.

Lost Ancient Continent of Mauritia
Image: Documentary Tube

There are seven known continents that we have in the world now; these are Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. But there was a newly discovered continent the allegedly 8th continent the Zealandia.

With the recent study, scientists have discovered an alleged lost ancient continent in the depths of the ocean. It said to be located deep beneath the Indian Ocean, once located between Madagascar and India, it is called Mauritia. 

A Precambrian microcontinent that broke away after India and Madagascar parted around 60 million years ago. Some detrital zircon found in the rock, analyses of the zircon crystals were produced between 660 and 1, 970 million years, older than the 8.9 million years old basalt which constitutes the oldest formations on the island. It was said that it had been brought up from buried continental crust as fragments entrained as xenocrysts (a rock fragment that becomes enveloped in a massive rock during the latter’s development and solidification) within basalt. 

Lost Ancient Continent of Mauritia
Image: New Atlas

Based on the interpretation of a linear northwest-southeast gravity anomaly it indicates the microcontinent may extend 1,500 kilometers from Seychelles to Mauritius parallel to the Indian Ocean oceanic edge. Allegedly, minerals were transported through a volcanic activity carried by lave. And the age of the crystals mass spectrometry was used by the scientists.

It was also said that 3 billion years ago a continent was covered by the ocean where the East African island of Mauritius now lies.

Professor Ashwal wrote in the study said that “Our results demonstrate the existence of ancient continental crust beneath Mauritius. Mauritius and other Mauritian continental fragments are dominantly underlain by Archaean continental crust, and that these originally formed part of the ancient nucleus of Madagascar and India.”

Although it was a significant breakthrough, the said submerged continent would have been a dangerous place for it is covered with volcanoes even experienced regular earthquakes.

It was believed that it acted as a buffer zone between the western Indian subcontinent and eastern Madagascar, it was fragmented by numerous tectonic and volcanic activities that occurred in the region.

Lost Ancient Continent of Mauritia
Image: MarketWatch

In 2013, scientists already suspected the lost continent in Mauritius since they have discovered the existence of small hints of ancient minerals in the sand of the beaches. But this time it was different, they have identified it inside the rocks; therefore, they added that these minerals might have gotten there through the wind. With those pieces of evidence, they concluded that there is an old continental crust located under Mauritius that was covered by kava during the process of formation of the archipelago of the Mascarene Islands, including Mauritius.

Another part of Gondwana, this is how scientists indicated the sunken landmass, wherein it began to detached into smaller portions as a result of the geological process of plate tectonic.

It is also where the supercontinents came.

Lost Ancient Continent of Mauritia
Image: The Sun

According to Alan Collins (from the University of Adelaide, Australia), more remnants of old continents are being discovered, and several of them have been found off Western Australia and even underneath islands.

Discoveries that might change the geographical knowledge that we used to know and can unravel more lost islands, continents or landmasses. Perhaps a better place to live.
By Kris De Vera Estrella, IFY Books

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