There was so much potential for Zealandia, the Earth's eighth continent. It did, at least until 95% of the mass disappeared below the waves.
While it's possible that most of Zealandia may never be home to land-based inhabitants, the once-lost continent is no longer simply lost.
Scientists have just finished documenting all of Zealandia's almost two million square miles of underwater terrain, having previously mapped its northern two-thirds.
The breakup of Gondwana, the ancient supercontinent, hundreds of millions of years ago represents a pivotal moment in Zealandia's history.
Zealandia sank, leaving only a small section of what many geologists say should still be termed the eighth continent, in contrast to its neighbor Australia and much of Antarctica.
Pebbly and cobbley sandstone, fine-grain sandstone, mudstone, bioclastic limestone, and basaltic lava from different time periods were dredged up in the most recent study performed by Nick Mortimer .
They proclaimed, "With this work, we have finally finished the offshore reconnaissance geological mapping of the entire Zealandia continent."
The Late Cretaceous sandstone uncovered by the team was estimated to be around 95 million years old, while the Early Cretaceous granite and volcanic pebbles dated back as far as 130 million years.
ealandia's fate as an underwater continent was sealed a few million years later when more Antarctica break-away continued to stress the crust of Zealandia until it thinned enough to break apart.