Has our Earth always had seven continents? Well, recent research by a South African scientist has brought to light the existence of a “lost continent” that has been sitting under where Mauritius is in the the Indian Ocean. Geologists now believe that the discovered land crust was likely part of an ancient super-continent Gondwanaland which broke some 200 million years ago into present day Africa, South America, Antarctica, India and Australia. The crust under Mauritius is believed to have come from the African island nation of Madagascar.
The defining study was carried out by Professor Lewis Ashwal from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand and the results were published in prestigious science journal Nature Communications.
“Earth is made up of two parts – continents, which are old, and oceans, which are young. On the continents you find rocks that are over four billion years old, but you find nothing like that in the oceans, as this is where new rocks are formed. Mauritius is an island, and there is no rock older than 9 million years old on the island. However, by studying the rocks on the island, we have found minerals that are as old as 3 billion years,” Ashwal explained in Nature Communications.
The South African researcher noted that the rocks found on Mauritius were too old to belong there, which led him to conclude that they were part of a bigger mystery that he eventually cracked.
(Source: Youtube/The Cosmos News)
Ashwal also believes that not only under Mauritius, the residual land fragments left over in the aftermath of break-up of Gondwanaland are scattered all over the Indian Ocean, waiting to be discovered.