The world - more specifically, Earth - is vast and mysterious. With about 65% of our planet unexplored, scientists are constantly discovering new findings. Look no further than their latest discovery: a forgotten eighth continent.
Nestled underneath New Zealand's South and Stewart Islands, scientists recently uncovered a chunk of land dating about a billion years. It all started when geologist Rose Turnbull and a team of researchers at the GNS Science institute set off to learn more about tiny crystals of a mineral called zircon found on the shores of New Zealand. Only what they soon discovered left them speechless.
"We are sitting on a continent," Turnball revealed to National Geographic of her findings. As her research team uncovered, the studied fragments of ancient rock were remnants of a forgotten eighth continent, Zealandia. "This is a classic thing with science," she explained. "The things that we discovered are things that we weren't necessarily setting out to discover."
While the discovery is viewed as a major break within the world of science, there's still lots to be learned - including Zealandia's true age. As researchers hypothesized, the continent is believed to be one of the youngest compared to the others. "It just makes you keen to keep getting out there and exploring," Turnball explained.
Stay tuned while this breaking story, detailed in the journal Geology, continues to develop.