Brazilian Atlantis
Brazilian Atlantis discovered off the coast of Rio (CPRM)

Geologists have found the 'Brazilian Atlantis' which vanished underwater around 100 million years ago, around 900 miles from Rio de Janeiro.

The scientists believe they have found an area of continent that was submerged under the Atlantic Ocean when it formed after Africa and South America drifted apart.

Roberto Ventura Santos, from Brazil's Geology Service (CPRM), said samples from the area found two years ago suggest the missing chunk of continent has been found.

"This could be the Brazilian Atlantis. We are almost certain but we must strengthen our hypothesis. We will have final scientific confirmation this year when we drill in the area to retrieve more samples of these rocks," he told the news agency G1.

The area the geologists are studying is known as the Rio Grande Rise, a mountain range underneath the ocean.

Ventura said that the samples were initially found by accident. They showed the rock was granite, a continental rock that forms on dry land.

Another expedition last month by Japanese and Brazilian researchers led the team to amass greater evidence of their find.

Geologists found granite under the ocean, which suggests the area used to be above land (CPRM)

"From an analysis, we began to see that the area could be a piece of the continent that disappeared into the sea millions of years ago," Ventura said.

He did not say how old the granite they found was, but said it was older than other rocks found on the ocean floor.

According to the Japan Times, the submarine delved to 910 metres and found a rock cliff measuring around 10 metres in height and width.

As well as granite, they also found a large quantity of quartz sand, which is also formed on land. No man-made structures have been found.

Radar24 also noted that further exploration could result in the discovery of a diamond mine.

Ventura told the news website that there is "a great demand for companies to explore the place".

"We will not set the volume of diamonds, the only clue," he said.

The team now plans to ask the Brazilian government to claim the area, which is in international waters.