New Zealand may be Australia’s smallest neighbor, but it sits on a huge new continent that scientists have called “Zealandia”, according to a report released by the United States Geological Society.
According to the report, New Zealand is just the tip of a 1.8 million square kilometer landmass known as Zealandia. This new continent also includes New Caledonia, along with several other territories and island groups.
The idea of ??a potential continent in this area has been around for some time, with geophysicist Bruce Luyendyk coining the term Zealandia in 1995.
A detailed study of the region over the past 10 years has determined that it is not only a group of continental islands and fragments, but has a large continental crust sufficient enough to be officially declared a continent.
Previously, New Zealand and New Caledonia were grouped with Australia under the name Australasia.
While some may refer to this as the eighth continent, geologists often consider Europe and Asia as a united continent called Eurasia.
The publication of the US Geological Society comes just a week after scientists found a “lost continent” under the Indian Ocean.