The most famous mountain in the world, Mount Everest, has numerous interesting and exciting facts, both known and unknown
Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. Every mountaineer dreams of conquering this peak standing 8,848 meters tall.
More than 5,000 people have conquered Mount Everest successfully. On the other hand, hundreds have died trying.
No matter the consequences, this natural landmark appeals to every climbers and non-climbers alike. Therefore, thousands want to learn more about this majestic peak.
Mount Everest is one of the most iconic natural landmarks in the world.
We have compiled some known and unknown facts about Mount Everest that are sure to excite you.
- This peak was first identified by a British survey team led by Sir George Everest in 1841. The mountain, Everest, was named after him in 1865.
- Prior to this, Mount Everest was known as Peak XV or Peak 15.
- Everest is pronounced ‘Eve-rest’ not ‘Ever-est.’
- Mount Everest is called Chomolungma in Tibetan, meaning ‘Goddess Mother of the Earth.’
- In Nepali, it is called Sagarmatha, a Sanskrit term for ‘Goddess of the Sky.’
Location and Height
- Mount Everest is located in Nepal, lying on the border between Nepal and Tibet.
- The height of this mountain is 8,848 meters or 29,029 feet, making it the highest peak in the world.
- New claims of Everest being 8,850 meters tall are surfacing, which might actually be true because the mountain is increasing in height by 2.4 inches every year. Nepal is remeasuring Everest after the 2017 earthquake and will finish it by 2020!
- The Chinese government claims the height to be 8,844 meters (29,016 feet).
- This mountain is one of the eight-thousanders, mountains that are higher than 8,000 meters above sea level. There are only 14 mountains higher than 8,000 meters in the world.
- It is also a member of Seven Summits, a family of the highest mountains of seven continents.
- Mount Everest is located in the Mahalangur Himal, sub-range of the Himalayas.
- Nepal, Tibet, and India are the countries visible from the top of Everest.
- This peak was formed after the Indian tectonic plate pushed up against the Asian plate.
- Mount Everest is believed to be 60 million years old.
- Everest consists of limestone, marble, and shale.
- This mountain is covered with snow around the year.
- The first attempt to scale Mount Everest was carried out by a British expedition team from the Tibetan side.
- George Mallory and Andrew Irvine attempted to climb Everest in 1924. It was never confirmed if they reached the summit or not because they never returned from the mountain. They were last seen ascending on July 8, 1924. Although Irvine’s body is still missing, Mallory’s body was found in 1999. It is believed that Irvine was carrying the camera, which may prove that they were the first ascenders of Mount Everest. Finding that camera can potentially change the history of mountaineering forever.
- Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa of Nepal were the first to climb Mount Everest successfully. In 1953. Lord John Hunt led this British expedition.
- Japanese Junko Tabei was the first woman to reach the summit of Everest. She is also the first woman to ascend all of the Seven Summits successfully.
- Nawang Gombu (Tibetan), Chu Yin-Hau and Wang Fu-zhou (China) were the first to reach the summit from the north side on May 25, 1960.
Other Notable Summits
- Japan’s Yuichiro Miura was 80 years old when he became the oldest person to reach the top of Everest. Actually, he held the record of the oldest climber when he scaled Everest in 2003 at the age of 70. He overcame two heart surgeries and climbed again in 2013. Sadly, he passed away while attempting to summit Everest once again at the age of 85.
- Similarly, American Jordan Romero was 13 when he achieved this feat before the age bar was enforced. His record is impossible to break unless the governments of any of these two countries lifted the ban!
- A blind climber, Erik Weihenmayer (USA) successfully reached the top of this peak in 2001.
- Mark Inglis, a New Zealander, climbed this mountain despite both amputated legs.
- Reinhold Messner summited Everest without oxygen supplement and solo in 1980.
- Kami Rita Sherpa (Nepal) has summited Mount Everest a record number of 24 times, the last two summits being in 2019 alone.
- Babu Chiri Sherpa spent the night on the top of Mount Everest in 1999.
- The record number of summits was 667 in 2013, which was later surpassed in 2018 with around 800 summiting the peak. 2019 broke all records when over 890 climbers reached the top successfully.
- Bear Grylls summited Mount Everest in 1998, 18 months after breaking three vertebrae.
Commercialization of Mount Everest
- Rob Hall and Gary Ball guided four members to the summit of Everest in 1990, thus beginning the commercialization of climbing Mount Everest.
- To climb from Nepal, you have to be at least 16 years old. From the Tibet side, you have to be aged between 18 to 60.
- In 2018 alone, 802 summits were successful, the most in a single year.
- 1974 is regarded as a maiden year since no attempt to climb the peak was made!
- More than any country, citizens of Nepal boasts the most number of summits.
- As an initiative to clean the litter in Everest, each climber is expected to return to base camp with eight kilograms of rubbish or forfeit their 2,000 pounds deposit.
- There are 18 different routes to climb Mount Everest.
- There are two base camps; The South Base Camp at 5,364 meters lies in Nepal whereas The North Base Camp at 5,150 meters lies in Tibet.
- Both these routes are the most common routes to the summit of Everest. The Southern Route in Nepal is more popular.
- Because of growing popularity, Mount Everest is facing ‘human traffic jam’ problems.
- As of January 2019, 295 people have died on Everest.
- The primary causes of death are from the avalanche, fall, altitude sickness, and exposure.
- The highest casualty number was 19, as recorded in 1996.
- 1977 was the year when no death was recorded on Everest.
- A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on 25th April 2015, which triggered an avalanche that killed 16 Sherpa and climbers in base camp. 61 others were injured. This day is remembered as the worst tragedy the Everest has ever seen.
- Due to the high cost and danger involved, many dead bodies remain along the routes of this mountain, making it the highest open grave in the world. One of such major dead bodies is termed ‘Green Boots’.
Green Boots is a popular landmark on the Northeast route of Mount Everest. This corpse, although not confirmed officially, is believed to be of Tsewang Paljor.
- The final 848 meters of Everest is called ‘Death Zone.’
- The Death Zone lies above 7,500 meters. Most of the mountaineering deaths happen in this zone. The nearest doctor available is below 5,400 meters.
- About 200 bodies are still lying on the route of Mount Everest. Due to poor weather and risk factor, those bodies are left there. Most of these lives perished in the Death Zone.
Environment and Flora & Fauna
- The temperature at the top can be -80 degrees Fahrenheit
- In comparison to sea level, the summit of Everest has 66% less oxygen molecules.
- The top of Everest is just below the cruising height of a jet.
- The wind speed on the top was recorded at 280 kilometers per hour, enough to blow away climbers. Winds over 160 kilometers per hour are common.
- A type of moss grows at 6,480 meters.
- Himalayan Jumping Spider (scientific name is Euophyrys Omnisuperstes which means ‘standing above everything’) lives in Mount Everest. They can be found living as high as 6,700 meters above sea level. They feed on frozen insects, springtails and other small invertebrates blown up by the wind.
- Bar-headed geese are seen flying at higher altitudes of the mountain.
- George Lowe, part of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary crew, claimed to have seen bar-headed geese fly over this mountain’s summit.
- Chough birds are also spotted at 7,920 meters.
- The death rate among Everest climbers has gone down, thanks to advanced equipment used for climbing.
- There is high-speed internet on Mount Everest route!
- The first tweet from the summit was made by Kenton Cool. His Tweet read – “Everest summit no 9! 1st tweet from the top of the world thanks to a weak 3G signal & the awesome Samsung Galaxy S2 handset! @samsunguk”
- The first call from the peak was made two years later.
- It takes around two months to climb Mount Everest. This time excludes arriving in Nepal and trekking to the base camp. Climbers need to acclimatize their bodies to the altitude of Everest.
- Although Mount Everest is the highest peak in the world, it is not the tallest mountain on the planet. This record goes to Mauna Kea in Hawaii, which is actually 10,200 meters (33,465) tall in height when measured from the base.
- Jean-Marc Boivin was the first person to paraglide from the top of Everest in 1988.