The continent of Australia is a mixture of land masses of differing ages.
The world's oldest known material is from Western Australia. But for much of Australia's geological past, the eastern states simply didn't exist. They're relative newcomers to our ancient continent.
Mauritius beachfront view with volcanic mountains. The basaltic lavas constituting these mountains formed no older than 9 million years ago.
Prof. Susan J. Webb, University of the Witwatersrand
Researchers have found a small piece of a "lost continent" buried underneath the lava on Mauritius.
Satellite image of California’s San Andreas fault, where two continental plates come together.
NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
Fifty years on from a groundbreaking paper, geophysicists have progressed from believing continents never moved to thinking that every movement may leave a lasting memory on our planet.
How many continents can you count on one hand?
From the 1950s until recently, we thought we had a clear idea of how continents form. Most people will have heard of plate tectonics: moving pieces on the surface of the planet that collide, pull away…