The Fall and Rise of Zealandia
September 27, 2017 5:05 AM   Subscribe

Because sea levels rise and fall over time, geological definitions of continents consider the continental crust and not just the part above sea level today. Over the past twenty years, mounting evidence has pointed to a lost continent straddling the Australian and Pacific plates: Zealandia. This week, findings from a drilling expedition suggest that it may have been closer to land level than once thought, providing pathways for animals and plants.

Surprisingly, Mefi has never had a thread about Zealandia before, but there are some parallels with the story of Doggerland (although most of Zealandia has been underwater for far longer).
posted by rory (10 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
http://earthsky.org/earth/if-you-made-a-sphere-of-all-earths-water-how-big-would-it-be

is in the top-10 images that improved my understanding of the natural world -- that the earth's surface is 80% water is due to a delicate yet insistent interplay of erosion vs. uplift.

looking at the antipode of California led me to find https://goo.gl/maps/QxaWNVqkerN2 -- Mauritia, another "underwater continent" similar to Zealandia.

Somehow I think colonizing these regions of subsurface land would be less challenging and more economic than going to Mars, even, if we needed the space for some reason.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 6:47 AM on September 27 [7 favorites]


Somehow I think colonizing these regions of subsurface land would be less challenging and more economic than going to Mars, even, if we needed the space for some reason.

You've just described Seaquest DSV.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:29 AM on September 27 [6 favorites]


Somehow I think colonizing these regions of subsurface land would be less challenging and more economic than going to Mars, even, if we needed the space for some reason.

Colonizing surface land with inhospitable climate (desert, arctic) is even easier. Crops grow really fast in arctic summer due all the sunshine.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:40 AM on September 27 [2 favorites]


It's where all the mutants, telepaths and so on eventually fled to.
posted by senor biggles at 9:41 AM on September 27 [2 favorites]


I think the important question here is "Does Zealandia have dinosaurs, possibly with old-timey style diving suit helmets on so they can breathe underwater?"
posted by Quindar Beep at 9:47 AM on September 27 [8 favorites]


We can only hope.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:52 AM on September 27 [2 favorites]


I guess we'll have to wait to see what Winston says about this.
posted by Sonny Jim at 12:11 PM on September 27 [1 favorite]


I guess we'll have to wait to see what Winston says about this.

In a month or two.
posted by Metro Gnome at 4:17 PM on September 27 [1 favorite]


An alternate name for Zealandia is Tasmantis, which is awesome
posted by thecjm at 6:17 PM on September 27 [2 favorites]


You've just described Seaquest DSV

As well as Sealab 20201
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:59 PM on September 27 [1 favorite]


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