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SCIENTISTS believe they've discovered the remains of a lost continent on the floor of the Indian Ocean off Africa.
The research team from Norway, South Africa, Germany and the UK identified the ancient microcontinent after analysing beach sands from the island of Mauritius.
A group of geoscientists from Norway, South Africa, Britain and Germany published a new study in the Feb. 24, 2013, issue of Nature Geoscience that redefines plate tectonics based on new physical evidence and the movement of lava hotspots that indicate ancient continental movement.
The researchers found that the islands Reunion and Mauritius cover a continent fragment that has previously been hidden under huge masses of lava. The continent fragment known as Mauritia detached from Eastern Gondwana about 60 million years ago while Madagascar and India drifted apart.
The volcanic hotspot beneath the islands was previously thought to have been the markings of the trail of the Reunion hotspot because of the lava cover.
Scientists said Sunday they had found traces of a micro-continent hidden underneath the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.
The slab, dubbed Mauritia, was probably formed around 61-83 million years ago after Madagascar split from India, but eventually broke up and became smothered by thick lava deposits, they said.
In a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists analysed beach sand on Mauritius that contained ancient zircons between 660 million and about two billion years old.
The minute chips of mineral were a remarkable find, as they were buried in sand formed only recently in geological terms -- from nine-million-year-old volcanic rock.
"The zircon points to the existence of fragments of an ancient micro-continent beneath the island (Mauritius), pieces of which were brought to the surface by recent volcanic activity," said a Nature statement.
The Indian Ocean floor may be littered with hidden land fragments that broke off as the once super-continent Pangea split up and formed the continents we know today, the paper suggests.
Pangea began to rift about 200 million years ago, yielding Gondwana in the south and Laurasia in the north.
Gondwana in turn split into Madagascar, Australia, Antarctica and India between 80 and 130 million years ago.
The new study suggests that Mauritia became detached when Madagascar and India split up.
The Seychelles, it adds, could be like Mauritia -- another continental fragment that, however, is visible.
reply to post by SLAYER69
I know It may just be a sensational headline but it could also be something BIG in the works Stay tuned....
Originally posted by onequestion
Im jk, but in all seriousness could there be a connection? I have to ask because im a huge edgar casey fan and a fan of the atlantis.edit on 24-2-2013 by onequestion because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by thesmokingman
I find any new discovery of this sort to be BIG news.
For decades now we have known more about the Lunar and Martian surfaces than we do about our own Planets oceans depths and hidden secrets.