New Zealand is actually part of an underwater continent that is 93% submerged, called Zealandia.
New Zealand lies on the continental fragment Zealandia, a fragment that was originally part of Australia, but broke away 60-85 million years ago.
Zealandia is 93% submerged, and it’s possible the entire continental fragment was under water about 23 million years ago.
New Zealand isn’t the only place that wouldn’t be there if you traveled back 23 million years, though it is the only country.
New Caledonia and the surrounding islands are the second largest territory, while various territories owned by Australia make up the rest of the 7% of the continent that’s above water.
Anything smaller than Australia is considered a continental fragment, which is why Zealandia has that designation. It’s larger than both Greenland and India at 1,400,000 square miles in area. For reference, Australia is 3,300,000 square miles.
Zealandia is unusually slender. It stretches from New Caledonia in the north to beyond New Zealand’s subantarctic islands in the south. That’s the same distance from Haiti to the Hudson Bay, or from Sudan to Sweden.