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Scientists Find 8th Continent - 'Zealandia'

Just off the East Coast of Aus

Scientists Find 8th Continent - 'Zealandia'

Pic: GSA Today

Scientists are calling for a new continent to be made official - Zealandia. 

A group of 11 geologists have put their findings to the Geological Society of America, saying the area off Australia's east coast (totalling 4.9 million square kilometres, 94% of which is actually under water) is the world's smallest continent.. 

How is a continent even decided?, you ask.. 

Well... there are four attributes needed to be considered a continent - mostly to do with the types of rock formations - and they say 'Zealandia' ticks all four boxes. 

As for the name? The term 'Zealandia' was first coined by geophysicist Bruce Luyendyk back in the mid-90s when he thought only 3 of the 4 requirements. 

It's thanks to newer satellite technology that they've been able to confirm the final attribute - that the area is one single land mass. 

Written by Claire Sherwood @clairesherwood_