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A huge landmass, mostly submerged beneath the ocean, bears all the hallmarks of a continent, according to a new study published by the Geological Society of America. You may have heard of part of it: New Zealand.
They call the continent Zealandia. At nearly 1.9 million square miles, it seems massive, but it’s two-thirds the size of the world’s (current) smallest continent, Australia. Ninety-four percent of Zealandia is underwater, with most of the other 6 percent being New Zealand. But it’s what’s beneath the surface that counts, right?
The “Zealandia” moniker was coined by geophysicist Bruce Luyendyk in 1995 (see that famous page-turner “Hypothesis for Cretaceous Rifting of East Gondwana Caused By Subducted Slab Capture” for reference.)
Luyendyk argued at the time Zealandia checked three of the four boxes to be considered its own continent. But now geologists say it checks all four: distinctive geology; a finite, defined area; crust thicker than the standard ocean floor; and elevation above the surrounding area. Zealandia apparently has it all.
Territorial waters or a territorial sea as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most 12 nautical miles (22.2 km; 13.8 mi) from the baseline (usually the mean low-water mark) of a coastal state. The territorial sea is regarded as the sovereign territory of the state, although foreign ships (civilian) are allowed innocent passage through it, or transit passage for straits; this sovereignty also extends to the airspace over and seabed below. Adjustment of these boundaries is called, in international law, maritime delimitation.
The term "territorial waters" is also sometimes used informally to refer to any area of water over which a state has jurisdiction, including internal waters, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and potentially the continental shelf.
An exclusive economic zone extends from the outer limit of the territorial sea to a maximum of 200 nautical miles (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) from the territorial sea baseline, thus it includes the contiguous zone. A coastal nation has control of all economic resources within its exclusive economic zone, including fishing, mining, oil exploration, and any pollution of those resources.
Rights over the continental shelf
Articles 77 to 81 define the rights of a country over its continental shelf.
A coastal nation has control of all resources on or under its continental shelf, living or not, but no control over any living organisms above the shelf that are beyond its exclusive economic zone. This gives it the right to conduct petroleum drilling works and lay submarine cables or pipelines in its continental shelf.
An example of this is the ongoing dispute over resources in the Arctic area, which will be decided by the exact mapping of the continental shelves.
originally posted by: IkNOwSTuff
Just another attempt at those pesky Kiwis trying to steal us Aussies thunder, were the smallest continent and thats final!!!!
Aussie Aussie Aussie