Scientists will journey to the world's 'lost' 8th continent

Scientists are setting out on an expedition to Earth's 8th continent.

Called Zealandia, this chunk of land is half the size of Australia and is almost entirely lost beneath the sea, except for a handful of islands such as New Zealand.

RELATED: Shocking discoveries revealed by melting ice

Shocking discoveries revealed by melting ice
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Shocking discoveries revealed by melting ice

Ancient anthrax

At least eight people in a remote part of northern Russia were infected with anthrax and a boy died from it in August 2016 after a heatwave melted permafrost and uncovered an infected reindeer carcass in the Siberian tundra. More than 2,300 reindeer died in the region, which had last experienced an outbreak in 1941, reported the BBC.

REUTERS/Center for Disease Control/Handout via Reuters 

Ötzi the 5,000-year-old Iceman

When hikers discovered a frozen corpse in the Ötztal Alps along the Italy-Austria border in September 1991, they had no idea the mummified body dated back to around 3300 B.C. Nicknamed Ötzi the Iceman, his body is one of the oldest and most well-preserved in existence: The glacier froze him and the high humidity in the area kept his organs and skin in good condition, reported The New York Times. He most likely died in an altercation, investigators and scientists concluded, but he also had various health issues, including an intestinal parasite.

(Andrea Solero/AFP/Getty Images)

Lyuba the baby woolly mammoth

Reindeer herders found the carcass of a baby woolly mammoth in permafrost along the Yuribey River in Siberia in 2007. The month-old woolly mammoth, dubbed Lyuba, was incredibly well-preserved thanks in part to a bacteria that colonized her flesh, an expert told The Chicago Tribune. Lyuba, who may have died after choking on mud after falling into water more than 40,000 years ago, now lives at The Field Museum in Chicago.

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu 

Legendary Everest climber George Mallory

The famed climber disappeared on Mount Everest's peak in 1924 and, 75 years later, mountaineers found his frozen body — complete with name tags and notes on his clothing, CNN reported in 1999. Mallory is believed to have reached the Everest summit nearly 30 years before Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary did, but what became of him during his expedition has always been a mystery.

 (Photo by Andy Politz/Mallory & Irvine/Getty Images)

A World War II crew and their belongings

In 1941, a British warplane crashed on an Icelandic glacier, killing four servicemen. Pieces of the plane started appearing starting in 1995. In 2000, a pilot's watch, preserved enough that an inscription "From Dad" was still legible, plus a toothbrush and tins of corned beef, were uncovered, reported The Telegraph. In 2004, remains of the crew were finally found.

 (Photo by Jorge Fern�dez/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Wreckage from an Alaska plane crash that killed 52

For five decades, an Air Force plane was trapped inside Colony Glacier east of Anchorage after it crashed in 1952. Then in the summer of 2012, the glacier finally gave up wreckage from the doomed flight that killed 52 men. A year later, human remains emerged, reported the Alaska Dispatch News. At least 31 victims have been recovered, according to the Associated Press, thanks to searchers scouring the melting glacier dressed in safety gear and ice cleats.

 REUTERS/U.S. Navy Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Clifford Bailey/Department of Defense/Handout via Reuters 


Called Expedition 371, this journey is funded by the National Science Foundation and aims to answer questions about how this forgotten land formed, how the earth's crust moves and even what the climate was like in the ancient past.

Thirty scientists will set sail for two months on the JOIDES Resolution, a scientific drilling ship.

In the Tasman Sea, the team will drill cores of rock from the seafloor allowing them to look back tens of millions of years to uncover Zealandia's secrets.

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