Zealandia made global headlines earlier this year when scientists announced that it counts as a new continent.
Now it is coming under closer scientific scrutiny. We are currently halfway through an expedition to drill into this vast underwater plateau of continental crust, and we can already reveal that Zealandia’s geography changed more dramatically and more recently than anyone had thought.
Earth’s hidden continent
There are seven continents on Earth: Eurasia, North America, South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia and now Zealandia.
Zealandia is about two-thirds the size of Australia, but 94 percent of it lies deep below the southwest Pacific Ocean. Its only major landmasses are New Zealand to the south and New Caledonia to the north.