A look at a world map may seem like it has always been like that. And it's not about the borders of states. Let's talk about continents and remember what we know about them. Continents are called large stretches of land (crust) that are above the oceans. There are seven continents on our planet: Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, North America, Australia and the Antarctic. However, geologists have recently discovered evidence of the existence of a lost continent called Greater Andria. But how did scientists find out and where do the "lost" continents come from?
1 How many continents are there on earth?
2 How did the continents come about?
3 What are lost continents?
4 What remains of Great Andria?
How many continents are there on earth?
There are a lot of processes going on around our planet that are not so easy to understand, especially when it comes to huge proportions. In order for everything in our minds to calm down a bit, we must not forget that the surface of our planet is a change of land and oceans. Oceans occupy most of the Earth's surface, while land and islands make up about 149 square kilometers, or about 29% of the Earth's surface. Not so much, right?
No matter how strange it may seem, geologists are not always in agreement on the number of continents on earth. Often you can find allegations that there are six of them. The fact is that some experts do not divide North and South America into two different continents. From a geological point of view, this is indeed a continent. However, experts explain the origin of the continents in different ways.
How did the continents come about?
According to the theory of mobilism advocated by the German scientist Alfred Wegener at the beginning of the 20th century, the earth's crust is divided into several separate lithospheric blocks – plates, also called tectonic ones. The mantle, which is under the earth's crust, is in motion. For this reason, tectonic plates move and collide with each other, creating the appearance of the planet Earth.
Tectonic plates are separated by fault lines. Today, experts count around 15 tectonic plates. Seven of them are the largest and have a diameter of about 16 million km. And above all – their form corresponds to the shape of the continents that lie above their surface.
Therefore, there are a number of assumptions that earlier on our planet there was a huge superozean and supercontinent called Pangea, which later split into two large continents: Laurasia (north) and Gandwan (south). Laurasia collapsed after 250 million years and its parts later took on the contours of the continents we know today: Africa, Antarctica, South America and Australia. Gandwana formed North America, Europe and Asia. In addition to the formation of continents, there is also the formation of oceans. These processes do not stop today. You can discuss these and other amazing discoveries in our telegram chat.
What are lost continents?
You've probably heard stories about lost continents more than once. What is the myth of Atlantis alone – a lost continent that was swallowed up by the sea along with all its inhabitants. However, there is no convincing evidence that this story, which the ancient thinker Plato described in his dialogues, is true.
And yet there are lost lands. From time to time, experts extract the remnants of the once-existing continents for the sake of the seas and oceans. So geologists have long suspected the existence of a continent called Greater Andria. Not so long ago, experts discovered limestones and other rocks in the mountain ranges of southern Europe, which supports this hypothesis. Recently, however, they have been able to prove the existence of Greater Andria.
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The fact is that the remains of Greater Andria are still found in different European countries. The study is published in the journal Science. In the course of the study, scientists developed a model that recreated the history of a huge land mass – the Gandwan. Experts have discovered that Big Adria separated from the supercontinent Gondwana about 240 million years ago.
After that happened, Greater Andria drove north. About 140 million years ago, this continent was the size of Greenland. Later, 120 to 100 million years ago, the Andria metropolitan area was confronted with what scientists call Europe today. As a result of the collision, Big Andria sank and was buried under the European continent.
What is left of Great Andria?
Note that the study took more than 10 years. The reason lies in the fact that there are not many traces of Greater Andria on the surface – mostly small rocks scattered over more than thirty countries. It's not surprising that the study took so long – imagine how much data had to be analyzed and collected.
What do you think, how many missing continents will scientists still discover?