There are half a hundred reasons for this Mother Starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, it became an instant and enduring classic. One of those reasons, without a doubt, included the lost city of Hamunaptra. For better or worse, we love a story about a good lost city and if you can get your hands on an entire lost continent, that’s even better!
About 155 million years ago, at the end of the Jurassic period, a large continental fragment 5,000 kilometers long broke off the western edge of Australia. Today, all that remains in its place is a deep basin known as the Argo Abyssal Plain. Scientists can tell from the shape of the ocean floor that a continent called Argoland has moved northwest, toward southeast Asia, but no sign of this hypothesized continent has been found. That is until a new study is published in the journal gondwana research The matter was hush-hushed.
The ancient continent of Argoland broke apart
The disappearance of Argoland posed some problem for geologists if it could not be discovered. “If continents could dive into the mantle and disappear altogether, without leaving any geological trace on the Earth’s surface, we would not have much idea of what the Earth might have looked (like) in the geological past. It would be almost impossible to reliably reconstruct the former continents and the Earth’s geography in earlier eras, Douwe van Hinsbergen, a geologist at Utrecht University, said in a statement.
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One reason Argoland is so difficult to find is that when it departed Australia it did not behave as you might expect. Instead of moving forward as one piece, Argoland broke into pieces and scattered here and there. Scientists used plate reconstruction software to model the movements of continental plates between the Triassic to see if they could figure out what happened to Argoland.
They found that Argoland had already broken into separate pieces by the time of the Jurassic split, 155 million years ago. By that time, it had organized itself into a loose collection of plate fragments punctuated by much older ocean basins from the mid-Triassic period, 200 million years ago or so. Scientists identified continent-derived blocks and tectonic “mega-units” spanning numerous islands, ocean floors, and surrounding areas, all of which can be traced to Argoland. Today, fragments of Argoland exist in southwest Borneo, Greater Paternoster, East Java, South Sulawesi, West Burma, and Mount Victoria.
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Sometimes, when tectonic plates split, they do so in a way that leaves clear evidence of their former orientation. Anyone who looks at South America and Africa immediately recognizes how well they would fit together. These new models of Argoland make clear that plate tectonics isn’t always nice and neat, sometimes like reconstructing a painted window from broken glass scattered over a gravel pit.
Chances are good that no ancient evil will rise from the remains of Argoland to take revenge on the living. But if it does happen, hopefully someone will get it on camera. Catch the Mummy is available on Universal Pictures.
(Tags2Translate) Brendan Fraser (T) Rachel Weisz (T) Lost Continent