The European Space Agency (ESA) has published pioneering satellite imagery revealing a wealth of new information about the ancient continents dating back to 180 million years ago. According to ESA, these masses are just 1 mile (1.6 km) below Antartica, but have never been tracked before. The photos show new information about the Antarctic, the sixth and least understood continent on Earth, the scientists claimed.
Fausto Ferraccioli, Scientific Director of Geology and Geophysics of the British Antarctic Survey, said: "These gravitational images are revolutionizing our ability to study the least understood continent of the world: the Antarctic.
"In the eastern Antarctic, we see an exciting mosaic of geological features that shows fundamental similarities and differences between the Antarctic crust and other continents with which it was connected 1
According to ESA, Antarctica and Australia remained in contact 55 million years ago, even though the landmass had split about 130 years ago.
The ESA also found that West Antarctica has a thinner crust than East Antarctica.
This discovery links this side of the southern continent with Australia and India, as they share the type of crust.
The ESA used vital data collected from the gravitational field and the Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), the first ESA satellite, to map Earth's gravity field from 2009 to 2013 when it collapsed into the earth after a fuel shortage.
The images helped scientists map the movements of the tectonic plates of the earth under Antartica.
They then combined the measurements with seismological data to create 3D maps of the lithosphere of our planet, the so-called crust and the melting mantle.
However, these findings can not only help to study the Antarctic, but also to have a "fresh" view of the Earth.
GOCE mission scholar Roger Haagmans said: "It is exciting to see that the direct use of the gravity gradients measured for the first time with GOCE leads to a new independent view. The Earth – even under a thick layer of ice.  "It also relates how continents may have been connected in the past before drifting apart due to plate movement."