We all know that there are 7 continents and 1 of them is uninhabited due to the harsh weather conditions. Antarctica remains as the most mysterious continents on Earth since only a few scientists are stationed there to conduct explorations and researches.
If you think the Antarctica is mysterious enough, you might be surprised to learn that there is an even more mysterious continent that could possibly exist. It is called the Mauritia. Nothing is confirmed yet for now, but it is worth taking a closer look.
1. Discovering the “Lost Continent”
It seems impossible that there is actually another continent that exists on earth. However, when a research team in South Africa was analyzing a mineral named zircon, they were surprised to discover that there is actually a lost continent that exists. They found out that zircon was present on the rocks coming out of volcanic eruptions. They concluded that those rocks were too old to have come from the island itself. It must have been from a totally different source.
2. There could be no other explanation
Mauritius is an island inhabited by over 1.2 million people. It is located in the Indian Ocean just next to the Reunion Island. Several geologists studying the island in the past have not discovered rocks that were older than 9 million years old. However, it was revealed that the zircons being studied by the South African team were as old as 3 billion years. This only means that there is a continent underneath the island, and this explains the 3-billion year old zircon found on the island.
3. The formation of Mauritia
Since there is no actual evidence that an entire continent was actually submerged beneath Mauritius, only theories have been raised for now. It was said to have formed during the Triassic Period. It was when the super-continent Gondwanaland started breaking apart. It took place over 200 million years ago. The splitting apart of the rocks led to the formation of the different continents. These continents contain rocks that are about the same age as the zircons found in Mauritia.
4. You can’t see Mauritia right now
The reason why it took a long time before realizing that Mauritia exists is because it is currently covered in lava. It is also just a remnant of a super-continent that split up ages ago. It is also believed that it split up from Madagascar, forming a huge mass of land, hidden beneath Mauritius as of now.
5. The split-up was way more complicated
Before you imagine that Mauritia came from this huge chunk of land that one day split up and formed different continents, note that it was not an easy process. The super-continent splintered with fragments of continental crust of different sizes left adrift on the Indian Ocean basin, which continually evolved. Since then, Mauritia was left undiscovered up until now.
6. This discovery was not necessarily that recent
Though you have only heard about this story now and it surprised you, the truth is that there was a study conducted in 2013 analyzing the beach sands of Mauritius, resulting to almost the same results. Zircons contain traces of lead, uranium and thorium. They are really resilient. It means that when they are found, they can be dated accurately. It was also revealed that there could even be older minerals lying beneath Mauritius, and it could prove true that Mauritia is indeed real.
7. It’s not the Atlantis
For ages, people have been going crazy about the thought that an entire lost city could be found somewhere beneath the ocean. It is a fictional place though and it remains at that. The case of Mauritia is different as there is concrete proof that it could really exist beneath the island of Mauritius. In short, we did not just find a lost city, but an entire continent, which is more amazing.
For sure, there will be more studies in the future to let us understand how this lost continent formed and why it was buried so deep. We might even find more information about the existence of some other hidden continents elsewhere. Through the years, we have tried figuring out what mysteries exist beyond the world we live in. We have also discovered a lot of significant data through these studies. We have failed to understand though that there are bigger mysteries in our world, and they are also worth studying. They might help us better understand our history and appreciate our mysterious planet even more.