当前位置: 发现  >  双语资讯  > 正文

Most of us learn at primary school that there are seven continents, but the next generation (一代人) of kids may be adding one more to that list.


According to a recent paper published in the Geological Society of America’s Journal by a group of researchers, “Zealandia” is a new continent that’s hidden beneath the ocean.


Zealandia is estimated (估计) to be five million sq km, which is larger than every country in the European Union combined.


Most of this massive (广阔的) area is covered by water, but its highest mountains already have their own name: New Zealand.


The small country is the only part of Zealandia that isn’t underwater, but the paper’s authors want the huge landmass (大陆) to be recognized worldwide as its own continent.


“The scientific value of classifying (归类) Zealandia as a continent is much more than just an extra name on a list,” the researchers wrote in their paper.


“The Glossary of Geology defines (定义) a continent as ‘one of the Earth’s major landmasses, including both dry land and continental shelves (大陆架).’”


Scientists discovered Zealandia all the way back in 1995, then started extensive (广泛的) research on the area using underwater and satellite mapping technology. After completing their work, they were finally able to write a report suggesting that Zelandia be named a continent.


But who decides on what is a continent and what isn’t? There is, in fact, no official organization that does. Some countries’ schools teach that there are six, or even five, continents. This changes depending where in the world the school is.


Due to their definition as a “continuous expanse (延伸) of land”, some classify Europe and Asia as the same continent – known as Eurasia. Schools in Russia and parts of Eastern Europe teach this.

由于一些人将大洲定义为“延绵不断的陆地”,他们将欧洲和亚洲视作同一块大陆 —— 称为欧亚大陆。俄罗斯和部分东欧学校就是这样。

And to make things even more confusing, France and Greece, as well as other countries, classify North America and South America as simply America.


This argument over how land is defined has even stretched (扩展) into outer space. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided that Pluto was no longer a planet, 76 years after its discovery in 1930. Experts argued that it no longer met the requirements needed to be called a planet alongside the eight others in our solar system. It was therefore renamed a “dwarf planet (矮行星)”, meaning that countless books, models and museum exhibits all over the world had to be updated (更新).

如何定义陆地的这一争论甚至还扩展到了外太空。2006年,在1930年发现冥王星的76年后,国际天文学联合会 (IAU)认定其不再是一颗行星。专家认为,它不再符合和太阳系中其余的八颗星球并称为行星的条件。因此,它被重新认定为“矮行星”,这也意味着全球无数的书本、模型以及博物馆展览都得更新。

But will the world take the same notice of Zealandia? The best way to tell is to keep an eye on our textbooks.




热门推荐 换一换


E-mailjinhua#wps.cn / jinhua#kingsoft.com