Zealandia got confirmed as Earth’s seventh continent earlier this year. Only little about this was known to everyone because it’s 94% was submerged under water. A multinational team of researchers who are affiliated with the International Discovery Program (IODP) were on a two - month voyage to study the sunken land. The team has just arrived in Hobart, Tasmania.
Zealandia covers 4.9 million km2 of landmass and once it consisted of approximately 5% of the area of the supercontinent Gondwana. Dr. Jamie Allan, Program Director in the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences which is in support of IODP said that Zealandia is a sunken continent long lost beneath the oceans. Dr. Jamie also added that it is giving up its 60 million – year – old secrets via scientific drilling of ocean.
The voyage offered insights into Earth’s history that ranges from mountain – building in New Zealand to the shifting movements of Earth’s tectonic plates to modifications in ocean circulation and global climate.