The Lookout

Lost continent found at the bottom of the sea

The Lookout

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A beach in western Mauritius (AFP Photo)

Maybe Atlantis -- or at least the cousin to Atlantis -- does exist after all.

Researchers have announced a discovery of a continent hidden deep beneath the Indian Ocean. The finding was reported in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The scientists, led by Trond Torsvik from the University of Oslo, say that a micro-continent may have sunk below the island of Mauritius millions of years ago.

Torsvik believes that part of the continent survived to become a piece of the Seychelles, an island in the Indian Ocean.

"At the moment the Seychelles is a piece of granite or continental crust which is sitting practically in the middle of the Indian Ocean, but once upon a time it was sitting north of Madagascar," said Torsvik.

How could this happen? The thinking goes that millions of years ago, all the continents were connected. When they drifted apart, this smaller piece probably sank.

Scientists were alerted to the hidden treasure through ancient zircon minerals, probably brought to the surface from volcanic eruptions. The minerals were hundreds of millions of years older than expected for the site.

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