Amazing discovery: New Zealand is part of an enormous underwater land mass called Earth

Take that, Australia!

Take that, Australia!

People tend to think of New Zealand as a tiny little country tucked away in the corner of the globe, much smaller than continents like Australia, Europe, or Asia. But a groundbreaking new discovery suggests that couldn’t be further from the truth, with prominent geologists saying that the islands we know as New Zealand actually appear to be part of an enormous underwater land mass called Earth, or The Planet.

The case for this extraordinary claim was made in a paper recently published to GSA Today, the journal of the Geological Society of America.

“This is not a sudden discovery but a gradual realisation,” wrote the authors of the study. “As recently as 10 years ago, we would not have had the accumulated data or confidence in interpretation to write this paper.”

The paper’s chief author, Nick Mortimer, says the magnitude of the discovery cannot be underestimated.

“If I told you that New Zealand, actually, or what we know of as New Zealand, is only 0.05% of the land mass it actually sits on, what would you think?” he said. “You’d be blown away, right? You’d be utterly gobsmacked. But that may just be how it actually is.”

What we thought was the Pacific Ocean may just turn out to be “kind of a giant lake” in “this greater continent of New Zealand,” he added.

Prime Minister Bill English and Foreign Minister Murray McCully both said, when asked, that they were “looking into” the territorial implications of the discovery, and whether New Zealand was potentially entitled to “most of” the planet.

“I wouldn’t want to get ahead of the story too much,” said McCully, “but it certainly does look that way, doesn’t it?”

Asked exactly how much of the planet he thought he’d be able to claim if the paper turned out to be accurate, McCully replied “All of it.”

“Yeah, I mean, if it’s all connected,” he said.

This week’s discovery comes just a year on the heels of scientists rethinking whether the Earth’s oceans are all “one big ocean,” after satellite images revealed there are no actual lines between them.