Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Long-Lost Continent Found Under the Indian Ocean

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the calling-Cthulhu dept.

Earth 168

ananyo writes "The drowned remnants of an ancient micro-continent may lie scattered beneath the waters between Madagascar and India, a new study suggests. Evidence for the long-lost land comes from Mauritius, a volcanic island about 900 kilometers east of Madagascar (abstract) The oldest volcanic rocks on the island date to about 8.9 million years ago. Yet grain-by-grain analyses of beach sand collected at two sites on the Mauritian coast revealed around 20 zircons — tiny crystals of zirconium silicate that are exceedingly resistant to erosion or chemical change — that were far older. One of these zircons was at least 1.97 billion years old. The researchers that made the discovery think that geologically recent volcanic eruptions brought shards of the buried continent to the Earth's surface, where the zircons eroded from their parent rocks to pepper the island's sands. Analyses of Earth's gravitational field reveal several broad areas where sea-floor crust at the bottom of the Indian ocean is much thicker than normal — at least 25 to 30 kilometers thick, rather than the normal 5 to 10 kilometers. Those crustal anomalies may be the remains of a landmass that researchers have now dubbed Mauritia, which they suggest split from Madagascar when tectonic rifting and sea-floor spreading sent the Indian subcontinent surging northeast millions of years ago."

cancel ×

168 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (5, Funny)

DeTech (2589785) | about a year and a half ago | (#43003877)

Atlantis?

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (5, Interesting)

muntis (1503471) | about a year and a half ago | (#43003943)

Actually it's more likely to be Lemuria [wikipedia.org] not Atlantis.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (4, Funny)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004051)

Of course it's not Atlantis. Everyone knows that the continent of Atlantis was an island which lay before the great flood in the area we now call the Atlantic Ocean.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (3, Funny)

cout (4249) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004311)

No, Atlantis is in another galaxy and we need a Zed Point Module to get there.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (2, Funny)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004449)

It's Zero you twit. You're nerd credentials are hereby revoked.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005037)

No, you need to surrender yours. The Americans called it a ZPM. Rodney, being Canadian, called it a Zed PM. (YOU twit)

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005195)

No, you need to surrender yours. The Americans called it a ZPM. Rodney, being Canadian, called it a Zed PM. (YOU twit)

Yes. ZPM was Zero Point Module. Zed is how a Canadian would pronounce the acronym ZPM. What you, effectively, said was zee Point Module which is not a phrase ever uttered in the show and would be analogous to saying A Teller Machine.

Fail.

Great, now that they found Numenor... (1)

Teresita (982888) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006627)

...they can look for Tol Eressa. And that means the Undying Lands of the Valar is probably Africa. Won't that make the Mormons crap their pants.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005213)

But it's wrong, and it's not funny. He called it a Z(ed)PM, as in Zero Point Module.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006069)

Idiot. Everyone KNOWS that Canada doesn't have scientists! It's too cold - your brain can't work up there...

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004465)

Um, to pedantic, that would be a Zero Point Module, a Zee Pee Em, or a Zed Pee Em.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005315)

ZeePeen?

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

adibe (2480114) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004477)

Please use Zero Point Module or Zed-Pee-Em. You should not mix the two uses.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005905)

No Atlantis was cloaked in San Francisco Bay until some double dumb-asses hit and sank it with a hijacked Klingon Delorean.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005823)

I'm pretty sure I saw Atlantis last time I was at Sea World.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

MickLinux (579158) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004785)

I thought Lemuria was far more recent, and more to the east. Atlantis, on the other hand, seems to fit pretty well with the google maps find, especially when you consider that the original Atlantis had a moat within a moat within a moat, all carved out of mountains, and --- looking at the same location in Yahoo maps -- you see that very feature just to the west.

Now, this one is more interesting, in that it might also imply that we could find major parts of the old continent in the Himilayan mountains, all crumpled up. Apparently, it got buried in the breakup of Pangaea, but it predates it by far.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005383)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santorini

^ Atlantis

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

Alphadecay27 (1277022) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004997)

Not according to the article you linked:

Although sunken continents do exist – like Zealandia in the Pacific as well as Mauritia and the Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean – there is no known geological formation under the Indian or Pacific Oceans that corresponds to the hypothetical Lemuria.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004009)

I was thinking about Uranus.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004551)

No, Uranus isn't sunken, and it's clearly out there for everyone to see.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004123)

This story is getting amazing exposure because of that. The problem is... it predates the Plato-described Atlantis by... oh, I'd say 88 million years and change. The destruction of this thing predates modern humans, thus civilization. It's so old it wouldn't even be in the collective consciousness of early early early man. Atlantis was most likely either the ancient Minoan civilization or Santorini, which were both destroyed when the volcano at Santorini completely destroyed the place. It probably didn't happen where or when Plato thought, but he was getting the info third hand. Interestingly, the destruction of Santorini may have been the cause of most of the Biblical plagues of Egypt described in Exodus. The trick is getting Pharoh's calendar to match up with the timeline of the bible, and the geological timeline of the destruction of Santorini.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004393)

europe has a regular cycle of being invaded by "barbarians" from the eurasian steppes. i haven't done any hard research into the subject but it seems to average every 800 years or so.

mongols, the Great Migration period and the fall of the roman empire, the hunnic invasion. they all come through south eastern europe, conquer the existing civilization and then take on their customs and live in the area.

same with greece, around 800bc there was an invasion of barbarians who became what we consider the classical greeks after they settled down. the "Jews" came into existence around the same time.

Atlantis is probably a story of an advanced civilization that amazed these nomadic barbarians. if you look at the mongol and hunnic invasions they take place after a warming period that begins to cool. makes sense since horses came from the eurasian plains. warm weather means more horses and enough for them to eat. colder weather the barbarians get restless as their horses don't have enough to eat and start to wander elsewhere to find food for them

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004865)

There is another possibility... that Atlantis is merely an allegoric construct of Plato, and has zero basis in fact... although the destruction of Santorini and the Minoan Civilization is an eerily similar story (island nation destroyed by catastrophic geological event), it didn't happen 10K years before Plato wrote about Atlantis.

As far as when the Jews came into existence, there are actually several narratives. Of course, there's the Bible's narrative. But also from other historical accounts we know there was a city-state that was populated and governed by a Semitic population, and it was located in Northern Egypt. One narrative says that Pharaoh conquered this city-state and made the population slaves, and another, slightly more interesting narrative, says that this tribe was one of warriors, and was basically hired guns... and Pharaoh hired them as mercenaries to conquer enemies all over the Sinai until the time of the Exodus, when the narrative was changed for marketing purposes (we know that the victor gets to rewrite history).

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43005401)

That is, of course, possible.. but considering that Troy turned out to be a real place, some keep their hopes up. Even if it is discovered, I'm quite sure it wasn't powered by large, magic, glowing, floating quartz crystals or some of the other silly tropes out there.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007505)

"The problem is... it predates the Plato-described Atlantis by... oh, I'd say 88 million years and change. The destruction of this thing predates modern humans, thus civilization"

The Old Ones are oooooold.

C'mon, aeons old and in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? That's obviously neither Atlantis nor Lemuria: It is R'lyeh!

Don't go to that deep land, for you will awake the horrors of the past... PhÂnglui mglwÂnafh Cthulhu RÂlyeh wgahÂnagl fhtagn

Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004363)

Meow meow meow meow meow meow ...

alt.fan.karl-malden.nose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004775)

Some of the oldest internet trolls. B+

Nope, I'm thinking Pandemic 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004411)

Shutting down an entire continent between you and India? Damn you Madagascar!

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (2)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004515)

Given the time-frame, I'm thinking closer to R'lyeh's true location. How about we all just leave this continent alone, 'kay?

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004663)

Have you seen the mess we're making of the place? We'd be better off with The Ancient Ones coming up to shake some sense into us.

Step away from that Necronomicon... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004789)

...and keep your hands and other appendages where we can see them. Beardo.
If that is really your name...

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

Torodung (31985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007907)

I'm pretty sure what the Old Ones are known for doing is shaking the sense OUT of people. Roll d100 for SAN loss.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

Abreu (173023) | about a year and a half ago | (#43005629)

Cthulhu Ftagn!! Iá! Iá!

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004975)

I prefer to call it Númenor.

Re:Everyone was thinking it, I Just said it. (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year and a half ago | (#43005691)

Wrong ocean. This would be Mu.

Re: Long-Lost Continent (0)

WDubois (806116) | about a year and a half ago | (#43003899)

Cue the Atlantis references...

Re: Long-Lost Continent (1)

Gort65 (1464371) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004519)

They're already at the finish line.

Atlantis! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43003901)

At last you are found.

Found = Not yet found? (3, Insightful)

CyberBill (526285) | about a year and a half ago | (#43003925)

Not really found. This is like trying to find a lost child, and your search dog picks up a scent, or you find a child size shoe.

Still lost. Not found.

Re:Found = Not yet found? (0)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year and a half ago | (#43003949)

Furthermore, I wonder what the impact this discover has, other than "hey, we know one more thing that nobody's ever going to use or ask about. Ever. Again." Pardon my bluntness, but this is right there in top 5 of most arid, useless discoveries I ever heard about.

Re:Found = Not yet found? (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004021)

Pardon my bluntness, but this is right there in top 5 of most arid, useless discoveries I ever heard about.

I'm sure that there's plenty of geologists and paleo-geologists who will disagree.

Re:Found = Not yet found? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004509)

I'm sure that there's plenty of geologists and paleo-geologists who will disagree.

I work with paleogeologists and there are lots of cool discoveries every day. I don't see what's special about this one, beyond the hype of calling a destroy microplate a "lost continent".

Re:Found = Not yet found? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005483)

This seems like it would be of interest to geologist because it would provide more data to help in down the history and evolution of plates in the area. It is also of interest to the general public because of the hype or at least in part because it can be made to look like a simple and interesting discovery. Of all of the other cool discoveries geologists make every day, a large portion of those are much more difficult to make of interest to general public (some are even going to be boring to scientists in non-geology fields).

The idea that it can get people interested in geology is a benefit that shouldn't be overlooked.

Re:Found = Not yet found? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004439)

Most of modern life is based on a lot of arid, useless discoveries or technologies by the time they were done.

Re:Found = Not yet found? (3, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004053)

If you ever drop your continent into a river of molten lava, let it go, because, man, it's gone.

Mauritia? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43003959)

Surely you mean Atlantis.

Re:Mauritia? (3, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004251)

Nope, it's the long lost city of Atlanta; home of the coca cola bottling plant and other things than the gigantic airport hub.

Re:Mauritia? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004779)

Yeah, like every single road being named Peachtree something-or-other.

Re:Mauritia? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006813)

Yeah, like every single road being named Peachtree something-or-other.

It's not that bad. Probably not more than a dozen or so named Peachtree.

Or were you including the ones outside the downtown area too?

Re:Mauritia? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007159)

[Ab]Using google maps I get 23. I'm not sure what you call outside downtown - I'm a country boy - it's ALL downtown to me!

Peachtree St NE
Peachtree St NW
Peachtree Rd NE
Peachtree Center Ave NE
Peachtree Ave NE
Peachtree Battle Ave NW
Peachtree Circle NE
Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Peachtree Dunwoody Road Northeast
Peachtree Dunwoody Circle
Peachtree Dunwoody Court NE
Peachtree Drive
Peachtree Rd NW
Old Peachtree Rd NW
Peachtree Hills Ave NE
Peachtree Hills Circle NE
Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Peachtree Industrial Court
Peachtree Pkwy
Peachtree Place NE
Peachtree Place NW
Peachtree North Court
West Peachtree St NE

Re:Mauritia? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007267)

[Ab]Using google maps I get 23. I'm not sure what you call outside downtown - I'm a country boy - it's ALL downtown to me!

Alas, it was meant as a joke - used to live in Atlanta, and everything being named "Peachtree" was a running gag then (probably still is)....

Not Atlantis (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007613)

Atlantis would be in the Atlantic Ocean. Since this was found in the Indian Ocean, it would be Indiana....

Interesting fact (5, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004019)

According to the article, they entire civilization was using Windows 8 right before it sunk. Their continental IT department tried to roll out touchscreens and then the whole place sank into the sea. Strange, but not unexpected.

Re:Interesting fact (5, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004559)

Sounds like a Surface problem.

Re:Interesting fact (3, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004581)

According to the article, they entire civilization was using Windows 8 right before it sunk. Their continental IT department tried to roll out touchscreens and then the whole place sank into the sea. Strange, but not unexpected.

Microsoft's blue screen of death was meant to honor all those that sank into the blue sea with no hope of survival.

Re:Interesting fact (1)

Motard (1553251) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004935)

Wow. Think about MS much?

I've always known it: (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004057)

Atlantis DID go south, only what you get radically differs from what Plato thought there was: not philosophers, but tiny apes inhabit it.

Punchline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004063)

"Ancient lost continent discovered lounging on Mauritian beach..."

I didn't know your momma visited Mauritian beach.

Plate tectonics (5, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004083)

Remnants of MANY lost continents lay under the ocean floor.
And at the top of mountains too.
And those lost continents were made from remnants of previous lost continents.

Someone just discovered geology. Amazing.

Re:Plate tectonics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004195)

I love that every idiot on Slashdot thinks he is an expert in EVERYTHING.

Re:Plate tectonics (3, Funny)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004269)

Yes, that is an unfortunate effect of dealing with stupid people all day, you end up feeling really smart when you are really just a step above those you help.

Re:Plate tectonics (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004279)

And, the definition of what constitutes a continent is rather subjective. Any definition one tries to establish has many leaks that result in either very few continents or dozens of them.

Re:Plate tectonics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005525)

Someone just discovered geology. Amazing.

Which of course is such a horrible thing and must be discouraged? If we let geology become too interesting, lay people might get interested... then what?

Re:Plate tectonics (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006897)

Someone just discovered geology. Amazing.

Which of course is such a horrible thing and must be discouraged? If we let geology become too interesting, lay people might get interested... then what?

DIY geology like what happened on Mars?

Re:Plate tectonics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43006059)

Sure is stretching the definitions.

A geologically notable sunk continent.
It now joins Zealandia and Zerg-rush-something or other.
These are very noticeable landmasses, not something that still exists now at a higher level or different location.
Note that I say higher level when I refer to a sunken landmass, which is still very height-based, but something at a higher level still exists. That is where the difference lies.

This continent is basically the lost link between Madagascar and India. The one that mostly confirms the theoretical Lemuria with our now revised knowledge on plate tectonics and so on, while putting its huge theoretical landmass to rest since we know it was just standard ol' plate drift. This also further confirms our knowledge on biogeography, plate tectonics and other areas.

Nobody cares that a continent existed eleventy billion years ago outside of historical knowledge, these ones are still very apparent now.
We already have a branch for dealing with future landmasses as well, screw calling it North America an Asia, everyone knows it is Amasia. Stop being so stuck in the passsst, maaan.

Re:Plate tectonics (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007551)

"This also further confirms our knowledge on biogeography, plate tectonics and other areas."

But, but, but... this could have not happened in only 6000 years!

Re:Plate tectonics (1)

mikael (484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007979)

And in the desert, like the The Silk Road, a merchant route between Europe and China. If the archeologists are really lucky, there are also remains of pottery and artwork, grafitti and once, even a diary carved into a soft clay pot (even 6000 years, people wanted to keep track of personal events).

So THAT'S where they go (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004151)

Found!, along with 200 million unmatched socks

Re:So THAT'S where they go (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006917)

Found!, along with 200 million unmatched socks

All left feet?

Slightly OT: How do continents survive? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004177)

So, if continents are floating in the Earth's crust that is forming at the Atlantic ridge for one and submerging at the Pacific ridge, why isn't the surface being completely reformed and continents regularly melted completely and recycles? Do the major continents float on top of the crust?

Re:Slightly OT: How do continents survive? (1)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004429)

My understanding (and I am not a geologist) is that this is what happens. It's just that "regular cylces" on the timeline are very long.

Re:Slightly OT: How do continents survive? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004431)

its called subduction, the continents are on the tectonic plates which float and move around. The San Andreas fault in California is a prime example of subduction, the pacific plate is subducting and recycling the north american plate.

Re:Slightly OT: How do continents survive? (2)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004831)

The the San Andreas [wikipedia.org] is a strike-slip fault, not a subduction fault.

Re:Slightly OT: How do continents survive? (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43008191)

Maybe he had in mind the Juan de Fuca Plate [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Slightly OT: How do continents survive? (1)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004435)

Do the major continents float on top of the crust?

Yes.

Re:Slightly OT: How do continents survive? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005209)

Continents drift around at a rate of 5cm/year. About the same rate as the change in height of mountain ranges. It's only when you start going into thousands and millions of years that things really start to change: 100 years = 5 metres, 1000 years = 50 metres, 100000 years = 5 kilometers. 1 million years = 50 kilometers.
After around 100 million years, every continent could have moved around 5000 kilometers, changing tidal currents, weather patterns.

It's only 10,000 years ago that the North Sea didn't exist and was actually marshland, known as Doggerland by geologists. When oil rigs drill down into the seabed to gather core samples, they frequently picked up animal skeletons and hunting tools. Look at old maps of the UK and you can see that the coastline has retreated three miles inland over the past 900 years. There are entire villages, roads and farms that have completely disappeared.

Re:Slightly OT: How do continents survive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43006241)

It is called there is a huge ocean on top of them.
It keeps the top cold enough to slow the crust melting considerably, but still fluid enough to move at a decent rate.

Any faster and we'd have much more quakes, tsunamis for sure since they are more active at the edges of landmasses, all that shaking would push crap out of place so much. There'd be no bikini age! Just think of that. The horror! Beaches would be like a warzone.

Any slower and... uh, we'd probably have a lesser EM field due to a cooler planet overall? Cooler planet overall.
The planet might even die quicker? We know Earth certainly isn't stable, it already has a death-date, but it is wildly up in the air and it could outlast the suns expansion (so still dead anyway)
We certainly would have outlived Mars if our oceans were noticeably larger (say, double), and we might have even developed hardier life due to increases in radiation.
In fact, it might just well last to the suns expansion because it will get hotter with time, and we are pretty much right on the outer edge of the goldilocks zone from just recent research that corrected it to the best of our knowledge.
So the only way it uppp, baby, but not for us, we are going to die. That song just got sad now.

Re:Slightly OT: How do continents survive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43006957)

I'm not a geologist, but if you look at some animations of plate tectonics over time, and you look at the current globe, you see the continents kind of fit together in the Atlantic like puzzle pieces? That's where they broke apart, and they're still moving apart from sea floor spreading in the Atlantic. But (and I'm speaking real generally) when the continents move far enough away from the middle of the Atlantic and far enough towards the Pacific, they don't crunch up into a super-continent on the Pacific side. At some point, the force required to push those continents together exceeds the force doing the sea floor spreading on the Atlantic side of Earth and the continents start moving back the other way, the "Pacific" side expands, the Atlantic side shrinks, and when the continents are moving towards one another on the Atlantic side, they do tend to crunch up together into a single super-continent--before the stresses in the Earth rip them up and move the "new" continents back the other way and the "Atlantic" side starts spreading again.

At least, that's what the continents have done through a couple of cycles and it's a plausible guess that they'll do it again, given long enough. Since they haven't done it yet, we don't really know. For one thing, before the continents get back to doing the super-continent thing in the middle of the "Atlantic" again, we'll probably get whacked by a few seriously big rocks from space, and if one of them is planetoid size, it's "Anything Can Happen" day. It's not like Earth's stopped accreting, it's just slowed way, way down. Earth's gotten smacked by planetoids about six times, iirc. (Since nobody human was there to watch, all the geologists know is just very, very educated guesswork, and new discoveries can change how we look at things.)

Opened Pandora's box: (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004183)

The Sleestak there are demanding reparations for disturbing their peace.

old news (3, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004201)

Made my way to Mauritius last weekend while trying to get to the airport Marriott with Apple Maps.

Very confusing (5, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004281)

The last pangea was about 300 million years ago. Indian subcontinent dashed across the Indian ocean and rammed into the underbelly of Asia just 70 million years ago. But these zircon cyrstals are 1900 million years ago. Enough time for one or two pangeas to form and break apart. The data is data, never argue with it. The crust could be 20 km thick where Arabian Sea is today and these crystals could be 1.9 billion years old. But I wish there is a better explanation than this idea of a lost continent.

I am bracing for another assault from the Tamil literature majors. There are references to sea level rise and lost cities (South Madurai) and lost rivers (Pahtruli) and lost temples (near Mamallapuram) and lost harbours (near Poompuhar) and lost grammar books (by Agastiyar ) in Tamil. Best explained by the ending of last ice age some 9000 years ago and the seas coming in a few kilometers and probably flooding a large river delta. But these guys postulate a "lost continent" of Lemuria, exactly in the Arabian Sea./Indian Ocean. Now they are going to come on like a ton of bricks claiming vindication and "proof" that the Tamil language is 1.9 billion years old. Especially since there is a literary reference that translates as, "after the rocks have appeared, but the sand has not yet been formed, [Tamils] were born with swords, the eldest civilization". That would gel with a 1.9 billion year old language.

Re:Very confusing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005181)

I think it would be awesome. if that were true.

But has anyone considered that indian ocean is expanding, hence India collided with Asia forming the Himalayas... could it be that the ancient land mass split apart and abutted what is now Antartica? Only way to tell is if similar rocks are found there. Of course, I'm sure extensive studies have been made to the origin of Antartica as I am not a geologist..

Re:Very confusing (1)

Luminary Crush (109477) | about a year and a half ago | (#43008181)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21551149 [slashdot.org]

Researchers have found evidence for a landmass that would have existed between 2,000 and 85 million years ago.

This potentially places the landmass above sea level during a time when humanity could have been present on it.

Who is to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004395)

Who lost it?

Alternatives? (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004505)

Also, it does not seem as if the zircons rode to Mauritius on the wind, says Robert Duncan, a marine geologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis. âoeThereâ(TM)s a remote possibility that they were wind blown, but theyâ(TM)re probably too large to have done so,â he adds.

How big is too large? Apparently dust gets blown quite far: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100809/full/news.2010.396.html [nature.com]

Or could they be from an asteroid?

Microcontinent or a dwarf continent? (3, Interesting)

voislav98 (1004117) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004531)

This is why I like geologists, they are logical people. Astronomers never thought to call Pluto a microplanet.

zircon-encrusted tweezers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43004637)

"D'you think I could interest you in a pair of zircon-encrusted tweezers?" - Zappa

Sadly... (2)

Tasha26 (1613349) | about a year and a half ago | (#43004729)

I live in Mauritius and it's a pathetic hot place (lots of rain lately) with ave. internet speeds of 30 KB/s during the day and 80 KB/s at midnight when you're supposed to be asleep. This is what you get when the telco is a monopoly (51% Mauritian owned : 49% French (Orange)).

Re:Sadly... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005299)

It sucks for a geek, but then it shouldn't matter if you are the type that rather surf, works outside, etc.

Re:Sadly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005717)

This is what you get for living on a remote island not traversed by a fiber backbone. You're lucky to have internet speeds better than a dial-up, if any at all.

Re:Sadly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005903)

This is what you get for living on a remote island not traversed by a fiber backbone. You're lucky to have internet speeds better than a dial-up, if any at all.

it's traversed by safe cable...

Re:Sadly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005969)

come on, stop whining on the internet and go buy an emtel 4g starter pack.
by the way 4g is available on this island, tasha is just searching for attention

"Micro Continent"?... (1)

lobstr (769307) | about a year and a half ago | (#43005359)

I think it's pronounced, "island".

Kerguelen (1)

Dr. Zim (21278) | about a year and a half ago | (#43005369)

I wonder if they've looked at Kerguelen yet, the undersea map shows a similar shelf.

'continent' found (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43005535)

"Long-lost 'continent' found 'under' the Indian Ocean"

I think most people just call that the 'seafloor'.

Bad headline, of course (1)

Jiro (131519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43005817)

Headline: Long lost continent found

Article: Long lost micro-continent found

Next headline: New startup sells $5 cars

Next headline's article: New startup sells $5 toy cars.

I mean, come on.

Zircon encrusted tweezers (1)

volvox_voxel (2752469) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006035)

..Could I interest you in a pair? I couldn't help it I've been a Zappa fan too long to let such an opportunity pass.

Namor... (1)

ilikenwf (1139495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007287)

Hopefully we don't run into him or Aquaman...they can get kinda nasty when people invade their turfs.

I was going to moderate in this discussion but (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007651)

93 posts and nobody mentioned EDEN! And Atlantis was in the "Atlantic" ocean, duh.

I fear for the education of today's children on mythology. You are all making me feel old.

A more informative article on the discovery (1)

Luminary Crush (109477) | about a year and a half ago | (#43008165)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21551149 [slashdot.org]

Researchers have found evidence for a landmass that would have existed between 2,000 and 85 million years ago.

This potentially places the landmass above sea level during a time when humanity could have been present on it.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>