Friday, March 1, 2013

Just before the continents sank
You could still go outdoors

What thanks did we receive from the authors of heroic blacksword-&-barbarism fantasy novels, when we reminded them that long-sunken continents are a finite resource?
Precious little.
Did they heed our warnings about 'reaching peak pre-history'?
Did they bog-roll.
Exploitation of Atlantean and Hyperborean locales continued apace, until all the exoticism was pumped out and Cimmeria was as familiar to readers as Coronation Street.

So the celebrations that greeted the news reports of a newly-discovered submerged continent were not restricted to people who remember Lemuria. A thousand fantasy novelists shook off their long-moribund manuscripts, with a swirling of dust like unto the sandstorms of the deserts of Zothique... adventure beyond imagining in long-vanished seething jungles, and the last desperate struggle for survival among the remnants of doomed civilisations as lands sink beneath the waves...
 If your waves land beneath the sinks, it is high time to bite the bullet and call the plumber.
It turns out that 'Lemuria' has been downsized to 'Mauritia': the reports involve a thin sliver of land caught in a custody battle between India and Africa when the former tore itself away from Gondwana (reportedly feeling 'trapped' and 'hemmed in') and began a slow trek across the Tethys Sea in the direction of Laurasia 'who understood the landmass that India wanted to be'. The theory has it that Mauritia broke into even smaller fragments which all sank to the ocean floor because (in a terrible run of bad luck) each in turn drifted over the Réunion mantle plume, which buried their lighter lithospheric rocks under floods of heavier basaltic lava. Ultramafic, even.

So the Réunion plume, when it created the island of Mauritius some 10 Myears ago -- the southmost of these purported continental fragments -- brought to the surface some of the evidence it had previously buried. An experience with which many of us are familiar SHUT UP SMUT
This was largely an excuse for the researchers to spend their time with bucket and spade on the beaches of Mauritius, collecting samples of sand. These yielded grains of lithospheric zircon, which cannot otherwise be explained, unless a flock of European or American swallows stopped there on their migratory paths, burdened with any number of sand-encrusted coconuts.

The other fragments of this putative Mauritia landmass remain speculative. Sadly, there is little difference between (a) "Island chains and sunken sea-mounts and thickened ocean-floor plate marking some fragments of continental plate that drifted over a plume", and (b) "Island chains and sunken sea-mounts and thickened ocean-floor plate where it drifted over a plume without fragments of continental plate".

Personally I cleave to Lafferty's "Aliens borrowed a slice of crust for research purposes" theory.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I rate for the coconuts theory.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

no bassoons.

anne said...

2(oh my .. . , / i'll find where i put .., of my first comment on the last post (1 , where i put the maz es comment ,i'd like your feed back on something of .. .

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Cthulhu is involved, right?

Substance McGravitas said...

The other fragments of this putative Mauritia landmass remain speculative.

An excellent beginning. Look to your fillings, my friends!