The shape and size of the continents has changed a lot over the history of our planet. Sea levels have changed, plates have drifted, and in all the upheaval some large chunks of land have gone missing. Now geologists think they’ve found one — a lost chunk of continent (otherwise known as a microcontinent) called Mauritia, which once connected India and Madagascar, before sinking deep under the Indian Ocean.
To find the continent, scientists dove deep down into the ocean and found a lost world, complete with mer-dinosaurs and other weird creatures. We wish. Actually, they analyzed some sand. Vice’s Motherboard explains:
The multinational team behind the research studied the composition of sand on Mauritius. While the sand itself dated back to volcanic eruptions around 9 million years ago, they also found samples of the mineral zircon dating back to between 1970 million and 660 million years ago. The team argues that such zircons must have been dragged up to the surface by geologically-recent lava flows, which suggests that Mauritia is indeed lying below the top-most crust in the region, perhaps just six miles down.
So there may not be hope for mer-dinosaurs. But maybe mer-dinosaur fossils?