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Scientists find lost continent that split off 155 million years ago

The continent of Argoland, at one time part of another supercontinent, is thought to have splintered off from what is now Southeast Asia.
Scientists solve mystery of land that split off 155 million years ago
Posted at 8:46 PM, Nov 09, 2023

Scientists say they have solved the mystery of what happened to an ancient continent called Argoland, which was thought to have split off from a supercontinent 155 million years ago. 

Researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands say the ancient landmass is now thought to have broken off from another enormous continental mass that was once situated in the area of Earth we now know as Australia and Southeast Asia. The splintering of the continents to form what we know now was unbelievably dramatic — so much so that it explains, in part, why the location of the continent took so long to be uncovered. 

According to experts, Argoland was once part of the supercontinent called Gondwana. Researchers were able to use geological data extracted through missions deep in the ocean basin located off the western coast of Australia to determine what happened to the landmass.

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Research published in the journal Science Direct called Gondwana Research shows that scientists believe they have located the boundaries for what once was Argoland around the area of Southeast Asia. 

The 3106-mile-long landmass is said to have drifted away when it splintered off, and researchers are now able to see the "void" it left behind. 

That void is now a basin that is hidden deep under the ocean, called the Argo Abyssal Plain.

Scientists believe now that the continent drifted off to the northwest, based on analysis of the structure of the sea floor. 

Researchers say the landmass might not have just been made up of one big piece, but of microcontinental fragments with older ocean basins between them called an "argopelago."

It is believed that the continent more closely resembled Greater Adria or Zealandia rather than what India looks like today. 

Researchers on the study believe there is no hidden continent under the islands, but rather fragments that are still there. 


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