Researchers have discovered a “continent” hidden under the island of Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean. A team of Geologists from South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand concluded that the lost continent discovered is actually a part of Gondwana, a 200 million year old super continent which split into South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia and India almost 180 million years ago.
Scientists have also discovered a mineral on the rocks dating no more than a few billion years. In a paper published in the “Nature Communications Journal”, the research team stated that the piece of crust covered by Lava could be a miniature riven part of the Madagascar Island.
The lead author, Professor Lewis Ashwal said that on continents one can find rocks which are four billion years old but one cannot find such rocks in oceans as new rocks are constantly forming there. In the Island of Mauritius there is no rock older than 9 million years but the team has found zircons which are as old as 3 billion years. He further said that the zircons indicate that there are much crustal materials present under Mauritius that could have originated from a continent.
In 2013, the academics had dismissed a study stating the traces of minerals found in Mauritius.
It is believed that there may be more fragments of different sizes of the lost continent spread over the Indian Ocean. These fragments are being named as “Mauritia”.
The professor went on to say that according to recent results this splitting was not merely a simple fragmentation of the super-continent of Gondwana but rather a complex breakage of continental crust of various sizes drifting within the Indian Ocean.