Australian town sitting on ancient part of North America

A tiny town in Australia is actually sitting on a 1.7-billion-year-old chunk of North America, according to new research.

Scientists found that rocks in the area around Georgetown, 250 miles (400km) west of Cairns, Queensland, were unlike any other rock deposits in Australia.

Instead, they were surprisingly similar to deposits found in Canada today, suggesting the town - with a population of roughly 250 - was originally a part of North America.

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Scientists found that rocks in the area around Georgetown, Queensland, were unlike any other deposits in Australia. Instead, they were similar to deposits found in Canada today, suggesting the town - with a population of roughly 250 - was originally a part of North America (stock)

Scientists found that rocks in the area around Georgetown, Queensland, were unlike any other deposits in Australia. Instead, they were similar to deposits found in Canada today, suggesting the town - with a population of roughly 250 - was originally a part of North America (stock)

HOW IT HAPPENED 

Billions of years ago, our planet looked very different.

Earth's landmasses have repeatedly created and destroyed supercontinents over the course of the planet's history as part of what experts call its 'supercontinent cycle'.

A new study suggests that a chunk of northern Australia was actually part of what is now North America when the supercontinent Nuna formed 1.7 billion years ago.

When the huge landmass split apart 100 million years later, a small area of what is now Queensland, Australia broke off of Northern America.

Georgetown broke off from North America and became a part of Australia during the formation of a supercontinent 1.7 billion years ago, researchers said.

Earth's landmasses have repeatedly created and destroyed supercontinents over the course of the planet's history as part of what experts call its 'supercontinent cycle'.

Now a study from experts at Curtin University in Perth suggests Georgetown became a part of Australia

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