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Rather than creating an entire world for my worldbuilding project, I was planning on adding an additional continent to Earth. Since the largest “empty spot” is in the South Pacific and one of my goals was to create a temperate continent with minimal disturbance to the rest of the world, I’m planning on placing it somewhere in that general area.

What would be the most indicated area to place a moderately-sized (somewhat larger than Australia), temperate (temperate forests, grassland and mediterranean) continent without influencing the rest of the world’s currents?

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    $\begingroup$ Place it where Australia is on the map. The Australians are pretty laid back and probably wouldn't mind. $\endgroup$ – John Coleman Dec 16 '19 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ Actually put it in the North Pacific... everyone will be looking for it in the South Pacific and won't think to look there. $\endgroup$ – Michael Dec 16 '19 at 16:57
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    $\begingroup$ This is not science-based, so not making it an answer, but if you want to tie it into existing mythology, you might want to read up on the lost continent of Mu, which is usually depicted pretty much right in the area you're asking about. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Dec 16 '19 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ If anything, put it where New Zealand is: There's so many maps without --- reddit.com/r/MapsWithoutNZ --- that you can just use that space. $\endgroup$ – user3445853 Dec 16 '19 at 21:35
  • $\begingroup$ If you look at a geographic map of the world's seafloor, New Zealand is centered on a relatively large, high plateau. Maybe user3445853 above has the right idea. Not sure if there's a definitive minimum area to qualify as a 'continent'. $\endgroup$ – marym Dec 16 '19 at 23:48
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What would be the most indicated area to place a moderately-sized (somewhat larger than Australia), temperate (temperate forests, grassland and mediterranean) continent without influencing the rest of the world’s currents?

Nowhere. There is no way to put something the size of Australia AND not influence water and wind circulations.

This is the flow of currents in the Pacific

Pacific currents

wherever you place something as big as Australia it is either going to deviate some flow or to accelerate it because it will restrict the section available for the flow to go through.

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    $\begingroup$ Now you’ve got me wondering if enough caves could be carved through the new continent’s mass to create channels and thus preserve the circulation. Continent on stilts, anyone? :-) $\endgroup$ – SRM Dec 15 '19 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure how would get all that limestone with granite pillars inter spacing it naturally occur. $\endgroup$ – Seraphim Dec 15 '19 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ @SRM-ReinstateMonica Even an extensive cave system would disrupt ocean currents. Not so much stilts, the continent need to levitate above the ocean. Roll on, another question about how to make my continent float. $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 15 '19 at 22:12
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    $\begingroup$ Forgive my argument, but couldn't it be in the center of the South Pacific Gyre? My understanding is that its a trash heap (or for clarification, its a location, with an amassment of oceanic trash in it) encircled by currents, so presumably what little currents go through it could around the land mass with minimal increase or effect on the pre-exisitng currents... $\endgroup$ – sharur Dec 15 '19 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I was wondering if something similar to what sharur suggested would be possible. $\endgroup$ – willmag Dec 16 '19 at 0:44
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I suggest the East Pacific Rise as the basis for a new Pacific continent. This could create a fair-sized continent far from the coasts of Australia and South America. Since the main part is located in the middle of the South Pacific Gyre, it will have relatively little influence on ocean currents. I have scetched a possible contour of this continent onto the map below.

enter image description here

The south of the Rise is close to the Pacific Antarctic Ridge, which could rise to become a major island off the coast of the new continent

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Turn French Polynesia into a single island.

French Polynesia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Polynesia#/media/File:French_Polynesia_on_the_globe_(French_Polynesia_centered).svg

That is where you want your new land. Hopefully the fact that there is a little land there already does not spoil your plan. You can invoke a technological terraforming project or sea level drop (which would of course have other effects) or put your scenario in the past or future of some alternate earth. Or invoke some unknown geophysical process like the one that formed these islands in the first place, but more.

The sites of these islands are such that important currents do not traverse the area - they would be disrupted by the land that is already there.

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    $\begingroup$ Too far North. The climate will be tropical and not temperate or Mediterranean as sought by the querent. $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 15 '19 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ The islands in reality are much smaller and sparser than your map makes them look — in particular, they’re not at all big enough that they would prevent major currents, as your last sentence suggests. $\endgroup$ – Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine Dec 16 '19 at 0:14
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterLeFanuLumsdaine It isn't so much their size but that they're all so close to the water's surface already, and so too is the underwater land between them. That is what really disrupts the currents. $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Dec 16 '19 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ @corsiKa: To some extent, but the rise around/below French Polynesia is a lot smaller and less significant for currents than the East Pacific Rise further to the southeast, mentioned in another answer. $\endgroup$ – Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine Dec 17 '19 at 10:24
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A little off what you were asking, but have you looked at Zealandia? Wikipedia It's about half the size of Australia and it actually exists...

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to World Building SE, Mike. You can improve your potential score for your answer, by providing clear and specific reasoning within your answer. Providing a link is discouraged since, in the future, the content may change and no longer support your argument or the link could vanish, making your answer useless. It's not uncommon for link dependent answers to be deleted by the moderates $\endgroup$ – EDL Dec 15 '19 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WB SE, Mike, I agree with @EDL this is potentially a good answer. More details with clear and specific reasoning improve your answer significantly. $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 15 '19 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer! I had looked up Zealandia, and it's very similar to what I had in mind as an idea -- but I wanted to try and make most of the continent up myself, as a ground-up world building exercise. $\endgroup$ – willmag Dec 16 '19 at 0:45
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    $\begingroup$ @willmag: As someone dating a New Zealander, I can firmly attest that the Kiwis won't mind... Hell, they'd just be happy to be remembered to be included on the map, even if consumed by the continent. $\endgroup$ – hszmv Dec 16 '19 at 17:19

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