Mauritius is only a few million years old, while some recently discovered zircon crystals on the island were estimated at 3 billion years old.
This is not the first time that billion year old rocks were found on the island.
Until about 85 million years ago, Mauritia was a small continent - about a quarter of the size of Madagascar - nestled between India and Madagascar, which were much closer than they are today.
The piece of crust, which was subsequently covered by young lava during volcanic eruptions on the island, seems to be a tiny piece of ancient continent, which broke off from the island of Madagascar, when Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica split up and formed the Indian Ocean.
'Mauritius and other Mauritian continental fragments are dominantly underlain by Archaean continental crust, and that these originally formed part of the ancient nucleus of Madagascar and India'. From this, Ashwal's team concluded that Mauritius is all that remains of the lost continent of Mauritania. Volcanic eruptions may have ejected the zircon from ancient rock below.
Unfortunately it seems that this could not be home to the legendary city of Atlantis because it fell into the sea some 84 million years ago.
And the discovery of minerals believed to be 3-billion years old has excited scientists.
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According to eurekart.org, one of the dominant minerals found in the crust is Zircons.
In a paper published to Nature Communications, a team of South African, German and Norwegian researchers began to come to the conclusion of a lost continent when they discovered a mineral called zircon on the island of Mauritius.
"The fact that we have found zircons of this age proves that there are much older crustal materials under Mauritius that could only have originated from a continent", said Prof.
"The fact that we found the ancient zircons in rock corroborates the previous study, and refutes any suggestion of wind-blown, wave-transported, or pumice-rafted zircons for explaining the earlier results", says Ashwal. According to New Scientist, evidence shows that other volcanic islands in the Indian Ocean also sit on parts of the sunken land mass.
It's expected that more chunks of the ancient Gondwana supercontinent will be dredged up in the coming years.
"It's only now as we explore more of the deep oceans that we're finding all these bits of ancient continents around the place", Martin Van Kranendonk from University of New South Wales in Australia, who wasn't involved in the study, told Klein.