For all of our alleged intelligence, knowledge and know-how, there are still things the majority of people consistently get wrong. From insignificant things like thinking that Danishes were first made in Denmark or that apple pie is a product of the U.S.A. to thinking that Christopher Columbus was looking for or found the American continent.
He was looking for India and found the West Indies or the apparently quite firm conviction that there are exactly seven land masses no more, no less. As is turns out that the Seven land masses assumption is nearly as daft and lazy as the one about there being nine planets in the solar system (‘The Planet Pluto’ indeed!).
The allegedly brilliant people in charge of looking into such things have peered just a bit harder at the section of salt water down by Australia and found a whole new continent.
Atlantis at last?
Not quite. While it is indeed possible that some smarty pants may have suggested such a name, the newly discovered land mass, almost entirely covered by water is known by the far mor dignified and mystic sounding name of Zealandia.
Which sounds as though it could have been the Eight Kingdom of Westeros at a stretch. Not immune to literalism, this gigantic hunk of rock is also the main part of what we know know as ‘New Zealand’ which has officially become a ‘microcontinent’.
The bit that looks like two small islands on the surface being the only parts of continent number eight that can be seen without out satellite imaging or diving gear.
Where does all the land go?
Originally part of what is now called ‘Australia’ – which is why Australia is called a continent, it is the biggest part that is left that we can see in a sort if bizarre, geological game of peek-a-boo – the area is still technically part of the larger area of ‘Oceania’.
It is thought to have broken away from the great Australian continent, no doubt egged on by that little rascal Tazmania, between 65 and 85 million years ago.
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Floating along a on it’s merry way, making pretty good distance for a large hunk of confidence in the grand scheme of things, it unaccountably sunk round about 23 million years ago. It is difficult to know for sure, there is no one around to ask.
This continent was not behind the couch
Those with a flair for the dramatic have taken to calling Zealandia a ‘lost continent’, though really it is, at worst, a ‘misplaced’ continent as it was merely submerged, rather thank destroyed, it was right there all the time and everyone could still see a bit of it.
Like when a cat ‘hides’ under the couch but there is still a bit of tail sticking out the bottom. 93% of the feline remains hidden with only sought e diencephalic of its existence. Roughly the same percent of the land mass of Zealandia that constitutes what we walking, talking apes have decided to call New Zealand.