New Zealand is earth’s eighth continent. Just mostly underwater.

If you think New Zealand is nothing but a collection of islands – think again. 😉

Matthew Wright

I was all ‘woohoo’ last week when news broke that New Zealand is actually a continent about half the size of Australia, albeit mostly underwater. The discovery was published in the March-April issue of GSA Today in a paper authored by a team of New Zealand and New Caledonian geologists, including Nick Mortimer, Hamish Campbell, Peter R. Tulloch and others.

Zealandia today, as seabed, via Google Earth. Zealandia today, shown as light blue seabed on Google Earth.

They argue that Zealandia classes as Earth’s eighth continent and stretches from the current New Zealand archipelago up to New Caledonia, which is another above-water bit of the whole. All of our offshore islands, right up to the Kermadecs, are encompassed by it. And yes, apart from the annoying problem of sea level, it puts us way ahead of Japan and more in league of Australia when it comes to continental scale stakes.

In a way it isn’t news. Zealandia…

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