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Long-Lost '8th Continent' Was Just Discovered, and You May Already Have Visited It

This area is called Adria by geologists, so the researchers for this study refer to the previously undiscovered continent as Greater Adria.

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Updated:September 26, 2019, 12:44 PM IST
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Long-Lost '8th Continent' Was Just Discovered, and You May Already Have Visited It
Image credits: Utrecht University

While reconstructing the evolution of Mediterranean region's complex geology, researchers have discovered a hidden continent on Earth. But this hidden land is not Atlantis.

According to CNN, the continent is called Greater Adria. It's the size of Greenland and it broke off from North Africa, only to be buried under Southern Europe about 140 million years ago.

In fact CNN also added that there are chances that you've been there without even knowing it.

Douwe van Hinsbergen, study author and professor of global tectonics and paleogeography at Utrecht University was quoted by CNN saying, “Forget Atlantis, without realizing it, vast numbers of tourists spend their holiday each year on the lost continent of Greater Adria."

Evolution of continents can be seen by researching the evolution of mountain ranges. "Most mountain chains that we investigated originated from a single continent that separated from North Africa more than 200 million years ago," said van Hinsbergen. "The only remaining part of this continent is a strip that runs from Turin via the Adriatic Sea to the heel of the boot that forms Italy."

CNN added that this area is called Adria by geologists, so the researchers for this study refer to the previously undiscovered continent as Greater Adria.

In the Mediterranean region, geologists have a different understanding of plate tectonics. Plate tectonics are the theory behind how oceans and continents form, and for other parts of the Earth, that theory suggests that the plates don't deform when they move alongside each other in areas with large fault lines.

But Turkey, and the Mediterranean, is entirely different.

"It is quite simply a geological mess: Everything is curved, broken and stacked," said van Hinsbergen. "Compared to this, the Himalayas, for example, represent a rather simple system. There you can follow several large fault lines across a distance of more than 2,000 kilometers."

Where Greater Adria isn't the first lost continent to be found, research in past years shows anything, it likely won't be the last discovery.

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