- Continental fragment known as Mauritia once linked Madagascar and India
- It sank beneath the waves as the two land masses drifted apart
- Researchers deduce its existence by analysing sand from Mauritius
- It contained minerals which suggest grains were once part of lost continent
Beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean, by the idyllic islands of Reunion and Mauritius, there lies traces of an ancient, hidden continent, new research claims.
The continent fragment known as Mauritia detached about 60million years ago while Madagascar and India drifted apart, researchers say, and had lain concealed beneath huge masses of lava.
And it appears such micro-continents hidden beneath the oceans occur more frequently than previously thought, says a study in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience.