Since the early 1920s, the mysterious Mount Everest has attracted mountaineers and scientists from all across the world. Hundreds have lost their lives while making attempt to conquer the tallest peak in the world, yet the fascination continues. The month of May, also called ‘the window,’ is considered to be the ideal time to scale Mount Everest; the weather is stable and wind speeds are fortunate for the climbers. As the climbing season nears, let’s take a look at some interesting facts related to Mount Everest.
- Nobody knew about Everest as the top of the world until the nineteenth century.
In 1802, the British enforced what ended up plainly known as the Great Trigonometrical Survey with a specific end goal to outline Indian subcontinent. By 1852, they had fingered Everest, at that point called Peak XV, as the lord of all, and by 1856 they had ascertained its stature as 29,002 feet above ocean level. A 1999 review utilizing best in class GPS innovation discovered them off by just 33 feet.
- It’s not the tallest mountain
Although Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth from sea level, Mauna Kea, an inactive Hawaiian volcano, holds the record as the world’s tallest mountain. In fact, depending on how you measure it, Everest is neither the tallest mountain nor the highest peak. Chimborazo, in Ecuador, only reaches 6,267 meters (20,661 ft) above sea level, but it’s the highest point from the exact center of the Earth.
- Ever growing mountain
A research team discovered in 1994 that Everest continues to grow approximately 4 millimeters (0.16 in) every year. The Indian subcontinent was originally an independent landmass that collided with Asia, forming the Himalayas, and the continental plates are still moving, pushing the mountains ever higher.
- Reason behind the name Everest
The mountain was only named “Everest” when British surveyor Andrew Waugh failed to find a commonly used native name. After studying maps of the surrounding areas and still being unable to make a decision, he named the mountain after Indian Surveyor General George Everest, head of the British team that first surveyed the Himalayas. Colonel Everest objected to the honor, but the British officially changed their name to the mountain from “Peak XV” to “Mount Everest” in 1865.
- One mountain, many names
Although we know the mountain as “Everest,” Tibetan natives have called the mountain by the ancient name “Chomolungma” (also spelled “Qomolangma”) for centuries. The Tibetan name means “Goddess Mother of Mountains.” But that isn’t the only other name it goes by. The Nepalese people know it as “Sagarmatha,” meaning “Forehead in the Sky,” so the mountain is now a part of the Nepalese “Sagarmatha National Park.”
- Human traffic jam
On May 19, 2012, climbers crowding one landmark near the summit faced a two-hour wait. In the course of just half a day, 234 people managed to reach the peak—but four people died, raising major concerns over the climbing process. Nepal specialists that year added a new fixed rope to ease congestion, and there have even been talks of installing permanent ladders.
- Worlds dirtiest mountain
Countless photos document climbers on their way to the Everest summit, but we rarely see images of what they leave behind. Everest is littered with not just the bodies of climbers but an estimated 50 tons of waste, with more left behind each season. The slopes are strewn with disregarded oxygen bottles, climbing equipment, and plenty of human feces.
- Height dispute
A height of mount Everest depends on what side of the border you’re on. China has said the peak is at 8,844 meters (29,016 ft), while Nepal says 8,848 meters (29,029 ft).
- 450 million year history
Although the Himalayan Mountains formed 60 million years ago, Everest’s history actually goes back a lot further. The limestone and sandstone rock at the summit of the mountain was once part of sedimentary layers below sea level 450 million years ago.
- Two men climb 21 times
Two Sherpas, Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi, hold the joint record for most Everest ascents. The pair has each managed to reach the summit an impressive 21 times. Phurba reached the top of the world three times in 2007 alone, and Apa has successfully summited the mountain almost every year between 1990 and 2011.
- Highest resident spider
Euophrys omnisuperstes, also known as the Himalayan Jumping Spider, is said to be one of the Earth’s highest permanent residents with sightings reported from heights of 6,700 m (22,000 ft). The spider is believed to survive on stray insects the severe winds blowing on top of the mountain bring along.