It may not exactly follow the plot of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, but it's still pretty dope. Scientists have found fragments of an ancient sunken continent beneath the African island Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, according to a paper published in Nature Communications.
The discovery owes it all to the study of minerals in rocks that were spit up in volcanic eruptions. The rock contained a mineral called zircon which was dated at 3 billion years old. By contrast, the island of Mauritius is much younger, and was formed as a result of volcanic eruptions that started just 9 million years ago. On the geological time scale, what science considers "old" and "young" is a matter of degrees.
"The fact that we have found zircons of this age proves that there are much older crustal materials under Mauritius that could only have originated from a continent," explains Prof. Lewis D. Ashwal, the author of the study, in a Wits University writeup.