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Lost continent found in Indian Ocean, scientists say there are more

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 26th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Researchers say they have found evidence of a lost continent in the Indian Ocean. The find reveals just how little we sometimes know about our ancient history. The continent was lost to history when researchers say it sank beneath the waves. They also add that there may be more lost continents out there.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many people don't know what they're keeping in their closets, attics, and garages, even after boxing away the items themselves. We know even less about what the world was like ages ago long before humans were created.

Scientists have new evidence of this shortcoming after studying sand taken from the beaches of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

Mixed with the common sand of the beach, were crystals of zircon that much older than the sand on the beaches. Mauritius formed as a result of volcanic activity about 660 million years ago. The crystals however, are nearly two billion years old. Explaining how they got there has led researchers on a hunt which revealed the existence of a lost continent.

The lost continent which they have dubbed "Mauritia" still remains in chunks on the ocean floor. The continent was formed about two billion years ago when magma welled up from the ocean floor. It was once part of a the same landmass that is now India and Madagascar. However, as the Indian Ocean grew and India, Africa, and Madagascar parted, Mauritia sank beneath the waves.

All that's left now are grains of sand on the beach, the result of natural erosion over time.

Experts do not believe there is a likely other source for the crystals and say they are fairly certain in the conclusion.

What's more interesting is they believe that many more lost continents may exist on the sea floor. Evidence for those continents comes from gravitational anomalies in the Earth's crust. Some parts of the sea floor have greater gravitational pull than surrounding areas, which suggests the sea floor is much thicker than in other places.

That thickness likely comes from continental crusts which have sank beneath the waves in prehistoric times. If so, then it reveals that we have much more to learn about the Earth and our prehistoric past than ever imagined.

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