For 375 years, Zealand, currently considered the eighth continent on the planet, was hidden from the public eye, and even today its greatest secrets lie in the ocean a little more than two kilometers deep. Information is from National Geographic.
For centuries it was seen as an existing utopia in the Southern Hemisphere, soon to be itself “MotherOf a chain of islands, now only 6% of the former full extent of the continent that once existed but is submerged.
The exploration of this place began around 1642, when Dutch navigator Abel Tasman began a mission to confirm an ancient European belief.
According to legends, a land mass, later known as Terra Australis, dissected Europe to the south and indicated a large habitable territorial strip that was hidden.
The Tasman sailed from Jakarta, Indonesia, on 14 August, bound for New Zealand, but conflicts with Māori tribes and conflicts with Dutch crews resulted in the expedition being a complete failure, with the explorers returning home without even setting foot on dry land. Came. To explore the vast strip of land.
Soon, Zeeland will once again be forgotten and new tracks will appear after 250 years.
first real clue
In 1895, Scottish naturalist Sir James Hector, who took part in several explorations in the southern part of New Zealand, identified the first signs of the continent’s existence while conducting geological studies. According to the researcher, the island would be “the remains of a mountain range that formed the crest of a large continental area that extended to the south and east, and which is now submerged …”.
New advances in study occurred only in the 1960s, when the term “continent” gained classification and definition by experts in the field. According to GNS Science geologist Nick Mortimer, a continent would be an area of high altitude, a wide variety of rocks and a thick crust that “cannot be just a small piece”, that is, it has to be large.
Around 1995, when the continent was officially called Zeeland by Bruce Luendik, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea came into force, ratifying treaties on the Territorial Sea, Exclusive Economic Zone, Continental Shelf and others, the exploitation of natural resources. established general principles. and to create an International Court of Law of the Sea.
Thus, especially after the analysis of satellite data, Zeeland became officially visible and 94% of its territory was submerged, without the court formally violating all the main conventions.
formation of new zealand
Originally, Zealand was part of the former continent of Gondwana that formed about 550 million years ago.
According to Rupert Sutherland of Victoria University of Wellington (Australia), finding the fossil record in the area is extremely challenging due to the impossibility of collecting artifacts on the ocean floor, but the area will be full of special remains. “In fact, the most useful and distinctive fossils are those that form in very shallow seas.Sutherland says. “Because they leave a record – there are billions and billions of very small, very specific, very small fossils”, completes the researcher.
“It is very difficult to search when everything is 2 km underwater, and the layers you need to analyze are also 500 meters below sea level. It’s really challenging to go out and explore a continent like this. That’s why it takes a lot of time, money and effort to start and research areas.Sutherland concludes.
*With information from National Geographic
Original article by Andre Luis Custodio
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