- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2013

Scientists say they have discovered an entire continent under the Indian Ocean that had detached itself from the then-supercontinent of Rodina and disappeared millions of years ago.

The continent was discovered beneath the islands of Reunion and Mauritius, tourist destinations just east of southern Africa, according to Fox News. The continent — a microcontinent, really, called Mauritia — disappeared during the drifting of Madagascar and India, when it subsequently detached from the main continent at the time, called Rodina, according to the report. It’s since been obscured from view by masses of lava, scientists said.

Land shifts and continent separations aren’t altogether uncommon.

Scientists say they occur when giant bubbles of hot rock spew forth from Earth’s deep recessions — from its mantle — and soften tectonic plates. These plates then shift and break apart at the hot spots, Fox News reports.