Brazil may have found its very own "Atlantis".
Geologists believe that rocks unearthed off the coast of Rio could be part of a hidden ancient continent.
If substantiated, tourist chiefs could cash in on a discovery that would be a jewel in Brazil's already burgeoning array of cultural sites.
The granite samples were discovered when Brazil's Geology Service (CPRM) dredged the seabed near the Rio Grande Elevation - a long seismic mountainous ridge that runs along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
Geologists believe the rocks were probably part of a continent that sank into the ocean when Africa and South America drifted apart 100 million years ago.
CPRM dredged the seabed by the elevation around two years ago so it could study the rocks buried there.
Granite rocks were among the samples discovered 900 miles (about 1,500 kilometres) from Rio, an established favourite of tourists seeking lively city breaks.
Roberto Ventura Santos, a top CPRM official, told the G1 website that scientists are almost certain that "this could be the Brazilian Atlantis".
But first more drilling is needed to retrieve more rock samples to verify this claim.
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