In a paper published in the Geological Society of America’s Journal GSA Today in February, researchers made the case that it should be considered a new continent.
They said it was a distinct geological entity that met all the criteria applied to Earth’s other continents, including elevation above the surrounding area, distinctive geology, a well-defined area and a crust much thicker than that found on the ocean floor.
Covering 1.9 million square miles, it extends from south of New Zealand northward to New Caledonia and west to the Kenn Plateau off Australia’s east.
Readers of The Silmarillion will recall that, after the First Age, most of the western land mass of Middle Earth sunk into the sea. Places like the Grey Havens, a port for the departure of the Fellowship to the Undying Lands, were very landlocked in the First Age.
So, when Peter Jackson and his troupe were filming the Lord of the Rings, they too were closer to a sea coast then they would have been long ago…