Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Submerged Continent" Story Trending For The Wrong Reasons

It does seem so judging by the comment stream of this article by Akshat Rathi which appeared in The Hindu last week. The article is currently in the most popular list of the Sci-Tech section of The Hindu.

"This could be another malefic design to make tamils believe they belong to different continent. As the validity of 75 yrs old dravidian myth is busted by science dna researches and rationale thinking. This could be yet another attempt to confuse south people".

from:  Periyar  

"It is interesting how scientist sometime make outlandish claims with no certainty of counter proofs. In fact it all depends which group you belong to, dominant or struggling, majority view which is stupid or minority non-peer view but sensible. So here we go again. The only certainty is that the world map did not look like today millions of years ago. There are unexplained artifacts many millions of years from different parts of the world which are neither explained or frankly admitted to be un-explainable. The reason being the Scientists calling the shots cannot eat humble pie. There are hundreds if not thousands of such artifacts. Some have conveniently disappeared to stop embarrassment for scientists. And then there are myths and legends, Ramayana and MahaBharat and 'in peoples memories'".

from:  Politenotpc 

"There was an article several days before that Australian aborgines share the same DNA as the rest of South India. So hypothetically speaking their ancestors would have traveled centuries before to Australia by land. impressive findings these.."

from:  Manoj 

"I was fascinated to read about the discovery of this new continent and its location so close to India.I was then wondering whether it could be the JAMBUDWIPA of yore which we repeatedly recite in Vedic chants."

from:  kumar
People are relating the submerged continent to events that may have taken place in human history with some nationalist pride and suspicions of scientists thrown in as well :)

The finding off course belongs to deep geological history.

Geophysical data indicated that the lithosphere in this region is thicker than what would be expected in an oceanic basin made up of basaltic crust alone. And zircons collected from xenocrysts (fragment of a foreign crystal) within lavas on the island of Mauritius gave a Proterozoic age. The lavas of Mauritius which contained these zircons were about 9-10 million years old. That suggested that these zircons belonged to very ancient continental fragment beneath Mauritius from which they were broken of and brought to the surface by younger lavas.

The continent is a smaller piece of Gondwanaland that separated from Madagascar about 60-80 million years ago as rifting between larger pieces of Gondwanaland (Madagascar and India) stretched and thinned the crust opening up an oceanic basin.  Prolific basaltic volcanism later covered this continental fragment . So, there never was a land connection across the Indian Ocean between India and other continents in recent geological history. Some of these continental fragments may have submerged below sea level much earlier and some would have appeared as small islands in the area between Mauritius and Seychelles - well to the south of India - before being covered by lava several millions of years before the presence of any humans on the Indian subcontinent.

But the allure of the "lost continent" endures.


  1. Most comments -- including this comment -- should come with a warning of being injurious to mental health.

  2. This is the problem with lot of people. They never check the dates and start fitting things in their fantasies.
    If someone believes that Dravidians lived on that sunk land 60-80 millions years ago, that will mean they are not homo-sapiens, and does not even belong to Hominidae Family. :)