Secrets of 'lost eighth continent' Zealandia to be unlocked...
SCIENTISTS have set sail on a mission to uncover the secrets of the “lost continent” of Zealandia.
This gigantic landmass disappeared beneath the waves 75 million years ago – and it has never been explored.
Mysterious ancient 'giant impact' shaped the entire history of Planet Earth
We know the dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago, so there is every chance scientists will find something totally unexpected in this drowned world.
It was originally part of the gigantic super-continent Gondwana, which was made up of many of the continents which now exist in the southern hemisphere.
Covering 1.9 million square miles, it extends from south of New Zealand northward to New Caledonia and west to the Kenn Plateau off Australia’s east coast.
Drill ship Joides Resolution will recover sediments and rocks lying deep beneath the sea bed in a bid to discover how the region has behaved over the past tens of millions of years.
The recovered cores will be studied onboard, allowing scientists to address issues such as oceanographic history, extreme climates, sub-seafloor life, plate tectonics and earthquake-generating zones.