Once upon a time, the lands of Earth were joined in the supercontinent Rodinia. These eventually broke apart and reassembled themselves to become the later, more famous supercontinent of Pangaea. They then broke apart and went through several more configurations before arriving where they currently sit.
Scientists now think they’ve found a missing chunk of the supercontinent Rodinia lost beneath the Indian Ocean. They are calling it “Mauritia” and believe it was originally located between the lands that became India and Madagascar. They’ve studied zircon brought to the surface by recent volcanic activity and determined that it is actually extremely old, vastly predating our modern continents. The researchers propose that the “anomalously thick crust” in the area is actually part of the supercontinent consumed by the ocean millions of years ago.
It’s fascinating that we’ve been able to unlock so much of the Earth’s past. Finds like this give us a tiny glimpse of how things were hundreds of millions of years ago and show how much we still have to learn about our ever-changing planet.