Knowing what the planet looked like tens of millions of years ago helps predict the location of mineral deposits before they are found during test drilling. Therefore, scientists do not get tired of specifying the details of the geological past of the Earth, which had eight continents 140 million years ago. But today we know only seven - where could another huge mass of stone go?
In studying the movements of the earth's crust, scientists use magnetic minerals that are naturally oriented toward the earth's magnetic poles. It is possible only during the period when magnets are in liquid lava, when they retain relative mobility. After solidification, this orientation is retained, which makes it possible today to calculate where these minerals were millions of years ago.
After studying about 2, 300 magnetic samples from the Mediterranean region, a team of scientists led by Dow van Hinsbergen built a new model. According to her, a single super-continent Pangea 240 million years ago split not into two pieces, Laurasia and Gondwana, but into three. The third and was the eighth continent, which was called Greater Adria, although it was quite small.
About 120 million years ago, the Greater Adria collided with the already isolated Eurasian plate and sagged, leaving under it. Adria was already small and flooded, representing an archipelago, so greater Eurasia crushed it under itself. At the same time, the upper layers of Adria were crumpled in the form of folds, which then became mountains - the Italian Apennines, the Swiss Alps, the Dinarids in Bosnia and the Iranian Zagros. And Adria herself now rests at a depth of 1500 km under southern Europe.