Scientists have discovered a gigantic “lost continent” called Mauritia hidden beneath the island of Mauritius.
It is believed this prehistoric landmass disappeared into the ocean when Madagascar and India split apart.
The lost continent is buried beneath Mauritius and was swallowed up the ocean more than 80 million years ago.
Scientists were able to predict the presence of the submerged landmass by analysing ancient crystals of zircon which proved to be older than Mauritius itself.
“Earth is made up of two parts – continents, which are old, and oceans, which are ‘young’,” said Lewis Ashwal from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.
“Mauritius is an island, and there is no rock older than 9 million years old on the island.
“However, by studying the rocks on the island, we have found zircons that are as old as 3 billion years.”
The world was once home to a gigantic landmass called Pangea, which slowly broke apart to form the continents we know today.
It is believed Mauritia was part of a larger supercontinent called Gondwana, which joined with Pangea and later broke away to form South America, Antarctica, Africa, Madagascar, and Australia.
Credit: ScienceAlert & TheSun