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There are eight places where you can explore Earth's missing continent Zealandia
Featured Image Credit: GNS Science / Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

There are eight places where you can explore Earth's missing continent Zealandia

Zealandia happens to be a billion-year-old supercontinent hiding underneath New Zealand.

You might have once strolled on a billion-year-old 'lost' supercontinent without realising it.

After 375 years, scientists have come to an agreement on the whereabouts of the mysterious eighth continent Zealandia, also known by its Māori name Te Riu-a-Māui.

As the initial discovery was made in 1642, geologists have long debated on its location.

But over the past few years, they agreed that the supercontinent is beneath the eastern side of New Zealand's South and Stewart Islands.

The chunk of land, which is roughly 1.89 million sq. miles (4.9 million sq. km), is 94 percent underwater and Zealandia is made up of really old rocks - including bits of the mantle as old as 2.7 billion years.

Satellite image of Zealandia.
GNS Science

Yet it is still considered a younger sibling to the other continents because the rocks are not as old as all the other major ones, with rocks dating back to more than three billion years.

GNS geologist Rose Turnbull told National Geographic: "We are sitting on a continent."

Joshua Schwartz, a geologist specialising in granites at California State University, added: "That layer on top of the Earth that we call the crust, that thin layer is where all the action for life happens.

"The continental crust is where we live, grow crops, draw water, mine minerals, and more.

"Essentially, all of our life is built on crust."

And there are eight completely different places you can visit to walk on the wonder of the 'lost' continent:

1) Milford Sound, New Zealand

This location was judged as the world's top travel destination, according to 2008 Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor.

2) Waitomo, New Zealand

Waitomo is in the King Country region of New Zealand's North Island and is known for its unique cave systems in the area around the village.

3) Wanaka, New Zealand

The popular summer resort town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand is popular for its skiing.

4) Ohope, New Zealand

Situated on the northeast coast of New Zealand's North Island in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Ohope provides views of the long coastline.

The scientists showed how Zealandia pulled away from the supercontinent.
GNS Science

5) Lord Howe Island, Australia

This location is known for its strange crescent-shaped volcanic remnant in the Tasman Sea.

6) Ball’s Pyramid, Australia

Ball’s Pyramid features a shield volcano and caldera that formed 6.4 million years ago.

7) Nepean Island, Australia

This might be a difficult one to get to, as Nepean Island is uninhabited due to its small size and tall cliffs, making landfall nearly impossible for small boats.

8) Waimangu, New Zealand

Waimangu is home to the largest volcanic eruption in the past 700 years in New Zealand, known as the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption.

Topics: New Zealand, Travel, Weird, Science, Australia