New continent found!
A new continent has been discovered hidden under Southern Europe. The geologists found it after analysing all the mountain ranges from Spain to Iran in detail for 10 years.
The lost continent named, Greater Adria, emerged about 240 million years ago, after it broke off from Gondwana, a southern supercontinent made up of Africa, Antarctica, South America, Australia and other major landmasses.
Greater Adria was large, extending from what is now the Alps all the way to Iran, but not all of it was above the water. That means it was likely a string of islands or archipelagos.
The mountain belts where these Greater Adrian rocks are found span about 30 different countries.
Earth is covered in large tectonic plates that move relative to each other. Greater Adria belonged to the African tectonic plate (but was not a part of the African continent, since there was an ocean between them), which was slowly sliding beneath the Eurasian tectonic plate, in what is now southern Europe.
Around 100 million to 120 million years ago, Greater Adria smashed into Europe and began diving beneath it — but some of the rocks were too light and so did not sink into Earth’s mantle. Instead, they were “scraped off” — in a way that’s similar to what happens when a person puts their arm under a table and then slowly moves it underneath: The sleeve get crumpled up. This crumpling formed mountain chains such as the Alps. It also kept these ancient rocks locked in place, where geologists could find them.
Did you know
Gondwana or Gondwanaland was a supercontinent that existed from the Neoproterozoic (about 550 million years ago) until the Jurassic (about 180 million years ago).