(NEWSER– The remains of an ancient continent ripped apart by plate tectonics tens of millions of years ago may lie under the Indian Ocean, researchers say. Scientists who analyzed beach sand on the island of Mauritius found tiny crystals of zirconium silicate that were hundreds of millions of years older than any rocks on the island, Nature reports.

They believe the zircons hint at the existence of a landmass they have called Mauritia, which was sunk around the same time the landmass that became India started to move north from Madagascar. Plate movement reconstruction and gravity mapping backs up their theory.

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