Underwater Continent

Zealandia

There have been many great discoveries found in the Pacific Ocean however none are as arguably significant from a geographical point of view than that of Zealandia. It is a landmass at the Southwest part of the Pacific. It is almost completely submerged underwater.

Debate

In 2017 the landmass gained recognition as being a continent. However, this is being debated and argued about by scientists and experts. The main reason for contention is the fact that continent is a term that is not concretely defined.

Despite the debate about its status, researchers can still recognise that it shows how little we know about the geography of the sea. The ocean is vast and there is still a plethora of discoveries to be had.

The History

It is believing that Zealandia was once connected to a supercontinent called Gondwanan 80 million years ago. It connected Zealandia to Australia and Antarctica. Millions of years ago Zealandia split off and became submerge 1 mile underwater.

This helps to show just how different the world’s landmass was and how it will continue to shift thanks to tectonic movement.

Further Developments

In September 2017, scientists conducted further research about Zealandia by drilling into the crust. Inside they discovered a plethora of fossil species that numbered in the hundreds. This included shelled organisms that would have lived in shallow water environments. They also discovered fossilised plant pollen. This has given researchers further insight into the unique history of the new continent’s unique geographical features.

Our limitations

Despite having increasingly advanced technologies for scientific endeavours, many limitations still exist in terms of discovering Zealandia. Due to the depth and location of the continent, it is more difficult to research fossil life and to extract salvageable fossils. Specialist equipment and sea vehicles are needed for future research to happen.