Interesting Facts about Mountains

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Mountains are magnificent and monumental things that everyone finds just fascinating. How did they get there? What was the process that helped them form and form so big? And how is it possible for some of them to have such huge peaks? These questions are mind-blowing and make you wonder every time you look at a mountain range. 

Here are 20 interesting facts about mountains that every mountaineer and enthusiast should know.

1. The Himalayas Contain thirty of the World’s Highest Mountains

The Himalayas Contain thirty of the World’s Highest Mountains

The Himalayas are the highest mountain range in the world, with Mount Everest being the highest point at 8,850 m ( 29,035 ft.). [1]

2. Noah’s Ark Landed on the Foothills of Mount Ararat

Noah’s Ark Landed on the Foothills of Mount Ararat

The story of Noah’s ark is found in the book of Genesis and tells how God instructed Noah to build an ark large enough to hold his family, a male and female of every animal species on Earth, and enough provisions to last for several months. According to the book of Genesis, Noah’s ark eventually came to rest and landed on the foothills of Mount Ararat in modern-day Turkey and Iran. [10]

3. Measuring a Mountain Peak before Technology

Measuring a Mountain Peak before Technology

In the past, geographers surveyed mountains with a technique called triangulation. The method involved measuring the mountain peak from several different observation points. This method is known as triangulation. [2]

4. Deaths While Conquering Mount Everest

Deaths While Conquering Mount Everest

Mount Everest was first conquered by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on May 29, 1953.

Since then, there have been about 4,000 successful summits of Mount Everest. There have also been about 300 deaths during the climb or descent from the summit of Mount Everest. The most recent deaths were of an American named Christopher Jon Kulish and a Swiss-Pakistani Abdul Waraich. [3]

5. Who Were Mountain Men?

Who Were Mountain Men?

Mountain men, who lived in the American West, were put to the test in the nineteenth century when they were forced to survive on their own in harsh conditions. They were the pioneers of charting unknown territory in that area. Mountain men would find passes through the mountain ranges and also knew of the dangers along each trail. They first played a major role in the fur industry; when that declined, mountain men started working as guides for those journeying to California through the Plains. Some would become guides and scouts for the army or assist travellers in surviving the treacherous conditions or threats from the natives. These men would also try to meet their needs by hunting and trading animals with local trading posts. [4]

6. Ever Wondered How Mountain Goats Can Climb So Well?

Ever Wondered How Mountain Goats Can Climb So Well?

Mountain goats have cloven hooves and two toes that spread wide to improve their balance. A rough pad on the sole of each toe helps them keep their grip on rocks, enabling them to climb higher than most humans can. [5]

7. Mountaineering Become a Sport out of Fun

Mountaineering Become a Sport out of Fun

The nineteenth century was a time of growing industrialization and increasing urbanization. Many people, seeking an escape from their hectic daily lives, began climbing expeditions to previously unexplored mountain peaks in Europe for fun rather than for scientific research. [11]

8. The Three Main Types of Mountains

The Three Main Types of Mountains

Mountains can be categorized by the forces that create them. Volcanic eruptions, for example, can cause the Mountains of Accumulation; tectonic plate collisions result in Folding Mountains; and erosion from wind, water, or ice can create Mountains of Erosion. [12]

9. A Reward for the Person Who Completes the Entire Journey up Mont Blanc

A Reward for the Person Who Completes the Entire Journey up Mont Blanc

In 1760, Horace Benedict de Saussure offered a reward to anyone climbing Mont Blanc and returning to tell him about it. Dr. Michel Paccard was the first person to do so twenty-six years later. [13]

10. Charles VII of France was impressed by Mont Aiguille

Charles VII of France was impressed by Mont Aiguille

Having seen Mont Aiguille, which rises 7,000 feet high in the Dauphine Mountains of France, Charles VIII of France was so impressed that he instructed his chamberlain to arrange a party and climb to the top; the chamberlain did just that. [14]

11. Mountaineering was Considered Dumb for a Brief Period

Mountaineering was Considered Dumb for a Brief Period

The deaths of four climbers on the Matterhorn in 1865 sparked a worldwide debate about whether mountaineering was an inherently dangerous sport. Therefore, it was considered dumb and unethical for a brief period. [15]

12. The Alpine Club is one of the Oldest Mountaineering Clubs

The Alpine Club is one of the Oldest Mountaineering Clubs

The Alpine Club was founded by a group of mountaineers in 1857. It is one of the world’s oldest mountaineering clubs and has members from around the globe. The club organizes trips for members and non-members, holds lectures on mountain topics, and publishes books about climbing and mountain history, and raises money for charity through sponsorship of expeditions. [16]

13. Japan’s Tallest Mountain

Japan’s Tallest Mountain

Mt. Fuji is Japan’s tallest mountain at 3776 meters tall (12,389 ft.), and it is also considered one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains.” Its shape resembles a cone covered with snow, which resembles a hat. Hence, its name is Fuji-san or Fujiyama, which means “hatsumago” or “wearing hats.” [6]

14. Mountains Have Great Cultural and Historical Importance

Mountains Have Great Cultural and Historical Importance

Mountains have been important culturally and historically, both as objects of worship and their utility to humans. Many great civilizations have been built on their slopes, especially in such areas as Asia, Africa, North America, and South America.

15. Mountain Ranges Stretch Hundreds of Miles

Mountain Ranges Stretch Hundreds of Miles

Mountain ranges can stretch for hundreds of miles across continents and are often found near plate boundaries where tectonic plates meet and move apart from one another. Some mountain ranges have been active for more than 20 million years; others were formed as recently as 10 million years ago.

16. The Highest Mountain in North America

The Highest Mountain in North America

The highest mountain in North America is Denali (also known as Mount McKinley). It’s located in Alaska and is 20,310 feet high! It’s also one of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each continent), along with Mount Everest in Asia; Mount Aconcagua in South America; Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. [7]

17. Some Mountains Have Names That Come From Native American Languages or Specific People

Some Mountains Have Names That Come From Native American Languages

Mount McKinley (Denali) in Alaska is named after an Alaskan chief who was known as “Denali,” meaning “the great one.” Mount Rainier in Washington State is named after a British admiral who explored the Pacific Northwest in 1792-1793. Mount Hood in Oregon is named after a British naval officer, Lord Samuel Hood, who explored the Pacific Northwest in 1792-1793. [18]

18. The Formation of Mountains

The Formation of Mountains

Mountains can form when plates collide or pull apart along faults in the Earth’s crust, causing rock strata to fold upward into peaks and valleys. The Himalayas were formed when India collided with Asia and pushed up huge blocks of rock upward. The Andes Mountains were formed when South America moved westward over millions of years, pushing up layers of rock into peaks and valleys. [17]

19. Mountains Can Influence Weather Patterns

Mountains Can Influence Weather Patterns

Mountains have been known to influence weather patterns around them by causing wind currents to flow over their surfaces. This is especially true on their windward sides, where airflow over the rising terrain creates an area of low pressure that pulls air up into it from downwind areas. [9]

Conclusion

Mountains have been called the world’s coolest playgrounds. This is because they offer an opportunity for activities to everyone. Mountains have a capacity for different activities. These include but are not limited to climbing, walking, biking and hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering, trekking, hang gliding, and parachuting.

Think about it; without mountains, we would not have had the great age of exploration. Christopher Columbus would not have crossed the Atlantic to discover America. There would be no ski resorts to bring business to certain regions during the winter months. The interesting facts above are just the tip of the iceberg; once you delve into it, there’s a lot more to learn about these majestic peaks.

References

  1. National Geographic. (2018, October 15). Mountains Information and Facts. Retrieved from Science website: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/mountains
  2. MacDonald, J. (2018, February 23). How to Measure a Mountain. JSTOR Daily. https://daily.jstor.org/how-to-measure-a-mountain/
  3. Sharma, B. (2021, May 13). 2 Climbers Die on Everest as Pandemic Rampages Through Nepal. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/13/world/asia/climbers-die-mount-everest.html
  4. root. (2014, June 2). Mountain Men in the American West. History; History. https://www.historyonthenet.com/american-west-mountain-men
  5. Mountain Goat | National Geographic. (2010, November 11). Animals. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/facts/mountain-goat
  6. The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (2019). Mount Fuji | Facts, Location, Eruptions. In Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/place/Mount-Fuji
  7. Denali | National Geographic Society. (n.d.). Education.nationalgeographic.org. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/denali
  8. The Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark – Mount Hood – Summary. (n.d.). Volcanoes.usgs.gov. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/cvo/Historical/LewisClark/Info/summary_mount_hood.shtml
  9. The Effect of Mountains on Weather. (n.d.). Spectrumlocalnews.com. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/capital-region/weather/2021/01/19/the-effect-of-mountains-on-weather
  10. Than, K. (2010, April 30). Noah’s Ark Found in Turkey? National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/article/100428-noahs-ark-found-in-turkey-science-religion-culture
  11. Kiesinger, C. D., & George Alan Smith. (2019). Mountaineering | sport. In Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/sports/mountaineering
  12. https://www.facebook.com/fraser.cain. (2009, April 23). Types of Mountains – Universe Today. Universe Today. https://www.universetoday.com/29771/types-of-mountains/
  13. Edwards, P. (2015, August 8). Mont Blanc’s first ascent, and the crazed crystal hunter who made it. Vox. https://www.vox.com/2015/8/8/9119081/mont-blanc-first-ascent
  14. Mont Aiguille Overview – Peakware.com. (2016, March 4). Web.archive.org. https://web.archive.org/web/20160304220340/http://www.peakware.com/peaks.html?pk=4
  15. Turner, E. (n.d.). Is it Unethical to Climb Mount Everest? Culture Trip. https://theculturetrip.com/asia/nepal/articles/is-it-unethical-to-climb-mount-everest/
  16. User, S. (2015, February 24). About The AC. Alpine Club. http://www.alpine-club.org.uk/about-the-ac
  17. National Geographic. (2018, October 15). Mountains Information and Facts. Science. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/mountains
  18. Ashford, M. A. 55210 238th A. E., & Us, W. 98304 P. 360 569-2211 C. (n.d.). Mount Rainier History – Mount Rainier National Park (U.S. National Park Service). Www.nps.gov. https://www.nps.gov/mora/learn/historyculture/mount-rainier-history.htm#:~:text=Captain%20George%20Vancouver%20of%20the

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