Witswatersrand University Professor Lewis Ashwal says the continent broke off from the island when Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica split up and formed the Indian Ocean.
He went on to note how the geologists identified zircons - minerals found mainly in granite from the continents - that are as old as three billion years in a six-million-year-old piece of the island's trachyte, which is igneous volcanic rock.
Although Mauritius is only 8 million years old, some zircon crystals on the island's beaches are nearly 2 billion years old.
Scientists have discovered the evidence of a "lost continent" deep under the Indian Ocean. However, by studying the rocks on the island, we have found zircons that are as old as 3 billion years, " professor Ashwal said in a statement. When they studied the mineral, zircon, found in rocks spewed up by lava, they realized that those remnants were far too old than the island of Mauritius.
The find now paints a picture of an ancient continent being splintered into fragments, some of which ended up being anchored below the current landmass that makes up the island of Mauritius today.
Professor Ashwal told MailOnline: 'This result is important because it allows us to better understand the processes by which continents break apart due to plate tectonics, and it also allows us to reconstruct the positions of these and other pieces of continent back in time'.
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The continent was likely part of the enormous supercontinent Gondwana, which broke up to become Antarctica, Africa, Australia and South America.
"Earth is made up of two parts - continents‚ which are old‚ and oceans‚ which are "young"‚" explained Ashwal‚ who is the lead author on the paper "Archaean zircons in Miocene oceanic hotspot rocks establish ancient continental crust beneath Mauritius"‚ which was published in the Nature Communications journal.
Indian Ocean topography showing the location of Mauritius as part of a chain of progressively older volcanoes extending from the presently active hot-spot of Réunion toward the 65m-year-old Deccan traps of northwest India. And perhaps Mauritia, the sunken continent, can now be added to that list as well.
However, this study received some criticism, including that the mineral could have been either blown in by the wind, or carried in on vehicle tyres or scientists' shoes.
He suggests that there are many pieces of various sizes of "undiscovered continent", collectively called "Mauritia", spread over the Indian Ocean, left over by the breakup of Gondwanaland.