Map of Earth’s missing continent has been published helping piece together the mystery
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Featured Image Credit: GNS Science
Scientists have mapped out Zealandia, the missing eighth continent which is mostly hidden underwater.
You might be familiar with the continents we live upon and be pretty sure you know them all with Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica.
However, there is an eighth continent and this one thankfully doesn't begin with the letter 'a', instead finding a name from the other end of the alphabet.
All the way back in 1642, folks suspected an eighth continent's existence, but it still took scientists 375 years to find it.
Zealandia is the smallest continent on our planet at around five million square kilometres (about 1.9 million square miles) making it basically about half the size of Europe.
However, if you want to visit Zealandia then your best bet is visiting New Zealand, though you'd probably want to do that anyway as anyone who's seen the Lord of the Rings movies will know it's a rather spectacular place.
Sadly for those hoping to see all the sights that Zealandia has to offer, about 95 percent of it is underwater and it's taken experts quite a long time to map it all out.
New Zealand research institute GNS Science announced the discovery of the eighth continent Zealandia, Te Riu-a-Māui in the Māori dialect, which was once thought to have been part of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana, before it pulled away about 105 million years ago for reasons we don't entirely understand.
As Zealandia began to pull away it started to sink beneath the lapping waves of the ocean, resulting in much of the continent going underwater and never resurfacing.
Some have argued that because it's largely underwater Zealandia isn't really a proper continent, but scientist Nick Mortimer of GNS Science begs to differ.
He told Insider that his team has been studying the eighth continent for 20 years and has just finished mapping out the submerged continent.
Mortimer argued that the definition of a continent doesn't have to be all about how much of it is above sea level.
Instead the expert said that it is Zealandia's continental crust which makes it fit that auspicious definition.
His team recently published a paper showing how they mapped out the continent as they gathered rock samples and used them to mark out what Zealandia was made of, as well as get an idea of the geology of this somewhat soggy landmass.
As with the wonders of the world there's still much more to discover about Zealandia, but now we know the true extent of this missing continent and how it formed in the first place.
The more we learn about it the more we'll know about how it came to be, as it's not every day a whole continent snaps off and starts sinking.