We have discovered a new continent that is visible from some parts of Europe, kind of.
We have heard of Atlantis, the lost city, but did you know we have lost continents? Douwe van Hinsbergen, a geologist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, has been exploring one of the most dramatic of these lost continents – known as Greater Adria. He and his colleagues studied rocks around and beneath the Mediterranean Sea to reveal the full extent of Greater Adria for the first time. “It’s enormous! About the size and rough shape as Greenland,” he says.
If you don’t recall seeing Greater Adria on a map, there’s a reason for that. It is completely buried — not under the ocean, but beneath southern Europe. About 140 million years ago, the two continents began to collide. Greater Adria got bulldozed and buried in the process and mostly sank beneath what is now Italy, Greece and the Baltics.
Lost continents are not entirely lost. Like lost civilizations, they leave traces behind, if you know how to look for them. You can visit the Greater Adria because the continent is technically the Alps. Other chunks of the continent are embedded in Southern Italy and Croatia. The Greeks also mined some of Greater Adria to make some of their temples in Rome. Next time you’re touring the sights of Italy, you’re actually looking at the long lost continent.