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Discovering the Earth's hidden 8th continent

A new report from the Geological Society of America claims there is an eighth continent on our globe. Eleven researchers from the GSA named their discovery "Zealandia," a hidden continental crust beneath the waves of New Zealand and New Caledonia. The illustrations provided by the GSA offer a look at the new continent that is approximately the size of Australia.

The report states, "Today [Zealandia] is 94% submerged, mainly as a result of widespread Late Cretaceous crustal thinning preceding supercontinent breakup and consequent isostatic balance. The identification of Zealandia as a geological continent, rather than a collection of continental islands, fragments, and slices, more correctly represents the geology of this part of Earth."

"This is not a sudden discovery but a gradual realization," the scientists say. "As recently as 10 years ago we would not have had the accumulated data or confidence in interpretation to write this paper."

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