Geologists have claimed discovery of new geological continent named Zealandia submerged beneath the south-west Pacific Ocean.
Zealandia is around 4.5-million square km land mass and is 94% under water. Only its highest points — New Zealand and New Caledonia are visible.
- Zealandia is two-thirds the size of Australia and spreads out over 4.9-million-square kilometres of continental crust. It was once a part of Australia.
- It is believed that it had broken off from Antarctica about 100 million years ago, and then from Australia about 80 million years ago as part of the breakup of super-continent Gondwanaland and sank beneath sea.
- Sea-floor samples show that Zealandia consists of light continental crust and not the dark volcanic rocks that make up nearby underwater plateaus.