Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The long-lost continent hidden underneath the Indian Ocean

Researchers believe they've finally found proof of a prehistoric microcontinent called Mauritia
Some 85 million years ago, a small landmass was sandwiched somewhere between what's now India and Madagascar. This ancient continent — Mauritia — was long the stuff of near legend, with geologists not totally sure if it ever even existed. But now, new evidence suggests the long-lost prehistoric continent is actually buried — in pieces — underneath the waves of the Indian Ocean.
The world was a very different place back when Mauritia was around. Remember, until just 750 million years ago, our planet's landmasses were all joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia. But Rodinia was eventually busted up, and millions of years of volcanic eruptions and plate tectonics eventually cleaved thousands of miles between India and Madagascar, leaving Mauritia surrounded by ocean. Then, anywhere from 2 billion to 85 million years ago, the small desolate landmass vanished.


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