New Zealand, as part of a small continent, Zealandia?

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In summary, in 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman set out on a voyage to find the legendary southern continent. However, his mission was cut short when he encountered the Māori people in New Zealand, and he returned home without ever setting foot on the continent. This was believed to be the end of the search for the lost continent until 2017 when geologists discovered Zealandia, a vast underwater continent that had been hiding in plain sight. It is now considered the eighth continent and is six times the size of Madagascar, with 94% of it underwater. This discovery raises questions about other secrets still waiting to be uncovered beneath the ocean's depths and the potential impact this lost continent could have had on history if it had
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https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210205-the-last-secrets-of-the-worlds-lost-continent

on 14 August, Tasman set sail from his company's base in Jakarta, Indonesia, with two small ships and headed west, then south, then east, eventually ending up at the South Island of New Zealand. His first encounter with the local Māori people (who are thought to have settled there several centuries earlier) did not go well: on day two, several paddled out on a canoe, and rammed a small boat that was passing messages between the Dutch ships. Four Europeans died. Later, the Europeans fired a cannon at 11 more canoes – it’s not known what happened to their targets.

And that was the end of his mission – Tasman named the fateful location Moordenaers (Murderers) Bay, with little sense of irony, and sailed home several weeks later without even having set foot on this new land. While he believed that he had indeed discovered the great southern continent, evidently, it was hardly the commercial utopia he had envisaged. He did not return.

(By this time, Australia was already known about, but the Europeans thought it was not the legendary continent they were looking for. Later, it was named after Terra Australis when they changed their minds).

Little did Tasman know, he was right all along. There was a missing continent.

In 2017, a group of geologists hit the headlines when they announced their discovery of ZealandiaTe Riu-a-Māui in the Māori language. A vast continent of 1.89 million sq miles (4.9 million sq km) it is around six times the size of Madagascar.

Though the world's encyclopaedias, maps and search engines had been adamant that there are just seven continents for some time, the team confidently informed the world that this was wrong. There are eight after all – and the latest addition breaks all the records, as the smallest, thinnest, and youngest in the world. The catch is that 94% of it is underwater, with just a handful of islands, such as New Zealand, thrusting out from its oceanic depths. It had been hiding in plain sight all along.

Interesting idea.
 
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Yes, it seems a lot of new discoveries now consider underwater features too. There was a recent article on comparing Plato’s description of Atlantis with Santorini once the site of a supervolcanic explosion and tsunami.

In his description there was something about a circular harbor with an island in the middle and other landmarks and dimensions that were borne out if you consider the 400ft sea rise that hid the Cyclades Plateau underwater.

https://greekreporter.com/2022/02/08/atlantis-plato-history-real/
 
  • #3
It's amazing to think that there was a whole continent that we didn't even know existed for so long. I wonder what other secrets are still waiting to be discovered beneath the ocean's depths. It's also interesting to think about how different the world might be if Tasman had been able to successfully explore and colonize this continent. Would it have changed the course of history? It's also a reminder of how much we still have to learn and explore on our own planet. Who knows what other hidden wonders are out there waiting to be discovered.
 

Related to New Zealand, as part of a small continent, Zealandia?

1. What is Zealandia and how is it different from other continents?

Zealandia is a submerged continent located in the Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia. It is mostly underwater, with only a few islands and landmasses above sea level. Unlike other continents, Zealandia is not defined by its landmass, but rather by its distinct geological and biological characteristics.

2. How big is Zealandia compared to other continents?

Zealandia covers an area of approximately 4.9 million square kilometers, making it about half the size of Australia and roughly the same size as India. However, due to its mostly submerged nature, it is often referred to as a microcontinent.

3. What evidence supports the existence of Zealandia?

The existence of Zealandia is supported by a variety of geological and biological evidence. This includes the presence of continental crust, distinct rock formations, and the presence of endemic species that are found only in Zealandia.

4. Is Zealandia considered a separate continent by scientists?

There is ongoing debate among scientists about whether Zealandia should be officially recognized as a separate continent. While it meets the criteria for a continent in terms of its geological and biological characteristics, it is not widely recognized as such in the scientific community.

5. How does Zealandia contribute to our understanding of plate tectonics?

Zealandia plays a crucial role in our understanding of plate tectonics and the movement of Earth's continents. Its unique geological features and location provide valuable insights into the processes of continental drift and formation. Additionally, studying Zealandia can help us better understand the evolution of Earth's landmasses over time.

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