The seventh continent has 93% of its length covered by
the Pacific Ocean and is inhabited by only five million
Africa, America, Asia, Europe, Oceania and
Antarctica. These are the six continents, right? Well, it
may not be so. A group of scientists claims that there are
actually seven continents and one sub-continent (India).
According to a study published in the scientific journal
Geology, there is a continent that is partly submerged
and that they named Zealand.
According to the study, to be considered a continent, the
piece of land must have more than one million square meters,
not be connected to other continents and be elevated above
the surrounding area. Now, "Zealand is a continent submerged
in the Pacific Ocean and from it we can only glimpse its
highest mountains, the islands of New Zealand and New
Caledonia", explains Laia Alegret, a paleontologist at the
University of Zaragoza and co- author of the study. "What
differentiates this continent from the remaining six is
that it has a very unusual geography since most of its
extension is under water, a kilometer deep."
Zealand has an extension of about 5 million square
kilometers and only 7% of its extension is above the water
line, in the form of thousands of islands. All of these
archipelagos are then mountain tops that rise to about 1,000
meters in altitude from the main piece of land.
The continent is inhabited by five million people, being
the second less populous, after Antarctica.
The study also reveals that about 60 or 85 million years
ago, the tectonic plates that constituted the super-continent
Gondwana separated and gave rise to Australia and
Antarctica. A few million years later, a new movement caused
part of the mass that gave rise to Oceania to sink a
kilometer. This activity took place in the Pacific Ring of
Fire, an area that encompasses a large cluster of tectonic
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