From Alps to Himalaya

Mountain is undoubtedly the most beautiful creation of nature. But, did you know, the mighty rock formation took millions of years and countless geological changes to create?

According to the modern theory of plate tectonics, its formation is a result of a continental collision or orogeny. Scientists believe, Appalachian mountains are the oldest mountains in the world. The rock dated are between 1.1 billion and 540 million years old.

There are various mountain range systems on Earth which were formed at different times and in different conditions. The most popular among them are the two systems; Pacific ring of fire and Alpide belt. Mountains range systems other than these account for the Arctic Cordillera, Appalachians, the Urals, the Scandinavian mountains, Altai mountains and Hijaz mountains.

Longest Mountain Ranges
Longest Mountain Ranges

Himalaya

One of the youngest mountain ranges, it covers only 0.4% of the world mass and yet it is the 2nd least explored regions in the world.

Himalaya spans 2,400 km (1,500 mi) from Nanga Parbat on the western front to Hindu Kush range in the east. Mount Everest at 8,850 meters is the highest point of the greater Himalaya range. On the western front, the part of Himalaya is known as Karakoram ranges, which includes; K2, Gasherbrum, Nanga Parbat and others.

Interesting Facts

  • Himalaya is the 3rd largest deposit of ice and snow in the world. There are approximately 15,000 glaciers located throughout the range, which store about 12,000 km3 (3,000 cubic miles) of fresh water.
  • It is the youngest among the many mountains in the world. The formation of Himalaya dates back only 70 million years, whereas, Appalachian mountains are 1.1 billion – 540 million years old.
  • The myth of Yeti, an abominable snowman in English literature, is related to the Himalaya. According to the folklore, the Yeti is revered as the God by many while other regard it as the mountain guards or wild beast.
  • Geologists have performed tests over years to prove that The Himalayas are geologically alive. The mammoth mountain range is said to be moving approximately 20 mm every year!
  • It spans 2,400 km and covers 6 different countries of South Asia.

Alps

The Alps are one of the mountain ranges. Located in Europe, they stretch approximately 1,200 km (750 mi) across eight different EU regions; Austria and Slovenia, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, France, Italy and Monaco.

The formation of Alps started 300 million years ago, therefore, Alps are known to be the oldest mountains ever formed after the Appalachian. The alpine region holds a cultural significance to many Europeans. The traditional culture of farming, woodworking and cheese making still exists in the Alpine belts.

Interesting Facts

  • The earliest conquests of Alps were made by the Armies (Romans), pilgrims, and traders.
  • Most of the snow/ice Glaciers in the world are found in the 1,200 km long Alp ranges of Europe.
  • Otzi, a 5,000 yrs old mummified corpse, was found in Alps.
  • 14 million people live in Alp regions, and more than 120 million tourists visit these regions every year.
  • It has been the source of minerals and crystals, including; Copper, gold, iron, cinnabar, quartz and amethyst.
  • It is suggested that between 40,000 to 80,000 men died in WWI due to avalanches on the Alps.

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