7 summits for 7 continents makes sense, but why is there a +1? Why would an additional summit be included if there are only 7 official continents?
The belief of an extra continent is rising to the surface. New Zealand, an island 25 kilometers from Australia, has recently been considered by many geologists to be a continent itself. This continent is named Zealandia.
New Zealand broke away from the supercontinent land union of Pangaea 100 million years ago. The area of Zealandia is +- 5 million square kilometers, of which 94 percent is under the Pacific Ocean.
Zealandia is described as a microcontinent as it contains all the characterizations used to classify a continent. These characteristics include but are not limited to: elevation from sea bed (the visible islands), distinctive geology, extreme climates, specific tectonic plates, and native flora and fauna.
A mission to discover drowned sediments and rocks, which once made up Zealandia’s part of the connected continent of Pangea, is currently on the way. These discoveries will aid in Zealandia becoming an official continent despite the fact that the full land mass is submerged under water.
As a result of this notion, a new continental mountain summit arises. The highest point of Zealandia is the summit of Mount Cook, also known as Aoraki. The summit sits at 3724 meters above sea level, connecting to the Southern Alps on the South Island of New Zealand. This means that in order to paraglide off the highest summits on all the continents, Mount Cook must be included.
-Written by Georgia Carter