LOCATED TO Australia’s east, this is the planet’s most recently named continent. IODP Expedition 371 left Townsville in July 2017 for a nine-week expedition (shown by the yellow line) to investigate its complex history. More than 94 per cent of the continent lies below the waves, and six sites, chosen as the best locations to unravel its mysteries, were drilled for sediment core samples. Most of Zealandia lies about 1000m below sea level, with New Zealand, New Caledonia and several small islands being the only parts above sea level.
The scientists of Expedition 371 are now piecing together the history of this, our planet’s most hidden continent.