The Sunken Continent Down Under

The Sunken Continent Down Under

Also known as Tasmantis and the New Zealand continent, Zealandia is a nearly completely submerged continental fragment that measures larger than the country of India. It broke away from Australia roughly 60–85 million years ago and sank. It's estimated to have separated from Antarctica between 85 and 130 million years ago.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    About 26 million years ago, Zealandia (the ancient continent of New Zealand) almost disappeared beneath the ocean. (0:01)

  • 2

    What saved New Zealand from becoming completely submerged with the rest of Zealandia was the collision between the Australian and Pacific plates. (0:11)

  • 3

    A series of underwater blasts over 4 million years is what brought the Chatham Islands above sea level. (1:34)

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