There may have been some truth to the myth surrounding the lost city of Atlantis after scientists uncovered evidence of an ancient “lost continent.”
Researchers from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa have revealed that a lost continent, named “Mauritia” may have existed under the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, according to a study published in Nature.
They believe the landmass formed part of what we today recognise as India and Madagascar. However, according to the research, the landmass most likely sank beneath the oceans some 84 million years ago.
This lost continent most likely formed part of Gondwana, a gigantic supercontinent which, as time passed, broke up to form Antarctica, Australia, Africa and South America.
Geologists reached this conclusion after discovering an ancient mineral, zircon, in Mauritius that should not have been there.
After closely studying zircon, traditionally found in among the rocks left behind after volcanic eruptions, they found that some of the mineral was simply too old to have originated from Mauritius.
“Earth is made up of two parts — continents, which are old, and oceans, which are ‘young,'” he said.
“On continents, rocks can be billions of years old, but nothing that old exists in the oceans,” study lead Lewis Ashwal explained.
“The fact that we have found zircons of this age proves that there are much older crustal materials under Mauritius that could only have originated from a continent.”
The researchers estimate there may be many more pieces of this undiscovered continent, spread out across the Indian Ocean.
Now if we can just find Atlantis…
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.