Discovery of new subcontinent next to Australia


Location of Zealandia based on BBC. Graphic by Carolina Puga Mendoza

Carolina Puga Mendoza, Photo Editor

After the discovery of the new solar system by NASA, many people have not been aware of the new continent found next to Australia. According to New Atlas, Zealandia cut apart from Australia about 80 million years ago and covers about 1.9 million square miles, Zealandia’s size is bigger than the Indian subcontinent but smaller than Australia.

“I was startled, curious about how nobody ever discovered that until now,” social studies teacher Matthew Stahl said. “It’s probably going to be good [discovery of continent], because it will allow more discoveries and exploration in a land nobody has seen before so possibly we’ll see something we didn’t know it exists.”

The discovery was made in 1995 but was not broadcasted. According to The Telegraph, scientist’s needed to make sure that Zealandia fulfilled all the necessary requirements to be considered a continent, instead of classifying it as a microcontinent or a fragment of a contention. National Geographic states that 93 percent of the land hides under water while the seven percent of the land are two large islands, the North and South Island of New Zealand.

The total human population of Zealandia is about 5 million people, it combines multiple islands that are part of the continent. Islands such as New Zealand, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island Group, Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs according to National Geographic.

“Maybe we can find resources that we already don’t have or more resources that we need, or new exotic areas to visit for tourism,” Stahl said.

The submerged part of Zealandia is rich in mineral deposits and many natural gas fields. Zealandia’s submerged fossils provide clues of life from when sea levels fell and most land was above water.

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