Ancient ‘Lost Continent’ Found Under Indian Ocean

Waves crest on the beach of an inlet in the north west corner of Mahe, one of the Seychelles many islands that comprise this Indian Ocean archipelago country on November 23, 2009. Scientific analyses factoring in melting glaciers and ice caps, added water from Greenland and Antarctica and thermal expansion of warming ocean water predict that sea levels could rise globally by up to two metres this century. “The highest point of the island is about 2.5 metres (eight feet), so it doesn’t take long for an island like this one to be swallowed up,” an estate manager for the island told AFP. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Forget Atlantis. Scientists have uncovered evidence of an ancient “lost continent” under the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, according to a new study.

The continent, which geologists call “Mauritia,” formed part of present-day Madagascar and India. The rest of the continent probably sank beneath the sea 84 million years ago.

“We are studying the break-up process of the continents, in order to understand the geological history of the planet,” said study lead author Lewis Ashwal of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

The continent was likely part of the gigantic supercontinent Gondwana, which broke up to become Antarctica, Africa, Australia and South America.

The clue to the discovery was finding an ancient mineral on Mauritius that shouldn’t have been there.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Doyle Rice

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