Scientists have just discovered something near the island of Mauritius that suggests an ancient secret on Earth.
Move over, Atlantis: scientists may have discovered a lost continent deep under the surface of the Indian Ocean near the island nation of Mauritius, a new study claims. The continent, which is being dubbed “Mauritia” by scientists, would have resulted in the formation of Madagascar and India, while the rest of the sank forever beneath the waves 84 million years ago.
Scientists think it may have been part of the “Gondwana” supercontinent, which broke into the pieces that we call Antarctica, Africa, Australia and South America today. Scientists found it by discovering ancient minerals on Mauritius that by all intents and purposes shoulnd’t have been found there, according to a statement from the University of Witwatersrand.
Specifically, the mineral zircon, which is created from volcanic eruptions, was too old to belong to Mauritius. Because Mauritius is only a few million years old, the fact that there were zircon crystals on the island an estimated 3 billion years old signaled that they must have come from somewhere else.
“Scientists have confirmed the existence of a “lost continent” under the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius that was left-over by the break-up of the supercontinent, Gondwana, which started about 200 million years ago,” the statement reads. “The piece of crust, which was subsequently covered by young lava during volcanic eruptions on the island, seems to be a tiny piece of ancient continent, which broke off from the island of Madagascar, when Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica split up and formed the Indian Ocean.”
“We are studying the break-up process of the continents, in order to understand the geological history of the planet,” says Wits geologist, Professor Lewis Ashwal, lead author on the paper “Archaean zircons in Miocene oceanic hotspot rocks establish ancient continental crust beneath Mauritius.”