The continent of Argoland, which apparently disappeared after separating from Australia 155 million years ago, has finally been discovered, according to a new study. Researchers have long known that the landmass separated from Australia millions of years ago. However, until now, scientists have been unable to find where Argoland ended up. Now researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands believe they have discovered a mysterious landmass hidden beneath the islands of eastern Southeast Asia.
“We knew it had to be somewhere north of Australia, so we expected to find it in Southeast Asia,” said Eldert Advocaat, the study’s lead author, a researcher in the Department of Geosciences at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Live sciences.
According to the outlet, the team of researchers reconstructed the continent’s separate journey, and found parts of the ancient lands scattered around Indonesia and Myanmar. However, when they tried to reconstruct Argoland from these fragments, “nothing seemed to fit,” Mr. Advocaat said.
The researchers then worked backwards, collecting evidence in Southeast Asia to trace Argoland’s journey northward. They studied scattered parts of ancient Earth and discovered small ocean remains dating back to approximately 200 million years ago. They found that the lost continent broke up when tectonic forces expanded the landmass and pushed it away from the rest of the continent, before scattering it across Southeast Asia.
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Working on this hypothesis, the researchers said that the Argoland did not truly disappear, but in fact survived as an “extended and highly fragmented group” beneath the islands east of Indonesia. Mr Advokaat and his fellow geologist at Utrecht University Douwe van Hinsbergen have coined a new term to more precisely define Argoland: “Argopelago”.
Now, the researchers believe their new study may shed light on the region’s past climate, which could have cooled as oceans formed between the pieces of Argoland. It could also explain the uneven distribution of species along the invisible burial ground that runs through Indonesia. Overall, the Argoland assembly is “a starting point for new research,” Advocaat said.
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