Humanity has only just begun to tap the surface about the mysteries held by the vast oceans which cover so much of this Earth. Scientists are regularly discovering new species of animals in the deep sea and experts are even uncovering the early stages of proof for lost continents and perhaps even lost civilisations. One such newly discovered continent has recently been located at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, between India and the island nation of Madagascar. It is believed that the continent once covered the ocean up to the point of the East African island of Mauritius.
ANCIENT CONTINENT DISCOVERED UNDERNEATH THE INDIAN OCEAN
Geologists have long been fascinated with the rocks on the island of Mauritius as some of the mineral fragments uncovered there are around 3 billion years old. This is significantly older than the relatively young island which was created approximately ten million years ago as the result of extreme volcanic activity. It was speculated that these highly ancient fragments had originated in a lost continent located deep beneath the island nation. Now, these suspicions have been confirmed.
Researchers working at the University Witwatersrand in South Africa have been using a novel imagining technique known as mass spectrometry to investigate these suspicious. They discovered that the mineral fragments had been transported to the island by travelling lava emanating from underneath the sea. This indicates that there is a continental crush beneath Mauritius. According to Professor Ashwal, the lead author on the team’s report, this continent would have once “formed part of the ancient nucleus of Madagascar and India.”
Experts have suggested that this lost continent, which they have dubbed Mauritia, would have been an incredibly dangerous place in the past. The region would have been covered with volcanoes and would have experienced both earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on a fairly regular basis. According to the researchers, it is likely that the continent was fragmented by this intense seismic activity which would have occurred in the region from the early Cretaceous period onwards
According to Alan Collins of the University of Adelaide, more and more lost continents have been discovered in recent years, including underneath his homeland of Western Australia. “It’s only now as we explore more of the deep oceans that we’re finding all these bits of ancient continents around the place, ” he said.