Zealandia, a old submerged continent of tens of millions of years in the Pacific Ocean, can provide us with data about the distant past of the Earth. This summer, a team of scientists toured the underwater region of the ancient continent, and the results could bring interesting data about the prehistory of our planet.
The team results from the effort of about 30 scientists from 12 different planets. The team was able to recover about two kilometers of sedimentary cores, extracted more than 1 kilometer deep, and these samples will better enable you to know the geological processes that have taken place in the region in the last 70 million years.
The cores in the region acted as time machines, allowing a better understanding of the region’s past and observing for the first time the evidence of underwater avalanches and fused rocks, suggesting that in the region there might be several volcanoes.
The region is believed to have been part of Australia, and has broken apart about 65 million years ago, giving rise to New Zealand and other islands in the region.
Throughout this expedition, about 8000 fossils were found, allowing the team to study hundreds of different species, and the analysis of these fossils allows us to know more about what kind of creatures inhabited the region, and even better understand what exactly the conditions would be in Zealandia.
So far the analysis carried out reveals that the conditions in the region were quite different from the current ones, as well as the geography of the region. The region seems to have once been thriving and full of animals, which could eventually travel across the continent to Australia.
It is hoped that this expedition will help to better understand the way life has spread throughout the South Pacific, and bring a new perspective to the debate as to whether or not Zealandia should be considered a continent, now we have to wait for the results.