'Lost Continent' found due to the presence of Zircon

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Researchers claim that a 3-billion-year-old 'lost continent' lies beneath the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

The team dug up a piece of crust that had been covered by molten lava during volcanic eruptions at the time of the island's formation. When they analysed the rock, they found tiny Zircon crystals that were billions of years older than the landmass itself. The Zircon crystals were thought to be around 3 billion years old.

"The fact that we have found Zircons of this age proves that there are much older crustal materials under Mauritius that could only have originated from a continent," explained Lewis Ashwal, lead author of the study and a geologist at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

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