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Thursday
Dec072017

5 Mind-Boggling  Mountains

Mountains have always been a source of amazement to us. The view from a mountain offers us unique perspective on our world and we are always in awe of how our earth can push its land into such a formation. From expeditions to photography, mountains have continually been a focal natural phenomenon to us. Here we have a list of truly beautiful and mind-boggling mountains that are definitely worth knowing about.

Rainbow Mountains- Danxia, China

It’s clear to see why these mountains are the first on this list. Often cited as Earth’s paint palette, the mountains in Danxia are a sight to behold. The range received UNESCO protection in 2009 since it became so frequented by tourists. So how exactly did these mountains come about? It starts like any other geological story; different types of rock, minerals and red sand sediments formed layers over millions of years. Then, something a bit more drastic occurred. A huge collision of tectonic plates forced land to move and rocks to fracture. The land was essentially crumpled together, creating mountain ranges, with the layers forced up into perfect, colourful patterns.

Flickr | Clem.L Big Ben- Southern Indian Ocean

We’re not talking about the clock tower in London; we’re talking about something 28.5 times higher than that! Big Ben is a volcanic mountain on Heard Island in the Southern Indian Ocean which is a part of Australian territory.  Its highest peak is 2,745 metres and almost the entire island is encompassed by this mountain! It is predominantly covered in ice even though it has frequent eruptions, the last one being in 2016. Since Heard Island is uninhabited, the eruptions are of no threat to anyone. What makes Big Ben truly magnificent is its backdrop. Being a perfect and isolated formation rising from the middle of the sea make this mountain a truly spectacular sight.

Flickr | LaikolosseKirkjufell -  Grundarfjörður, Iceland

Iceland’s famous landmark mountain is surrounded by beaches, making it easily accessible and a hot tourist spot. Standing at 463 metres high on a peninsula of its own, Kirkjufell is prominent against the flat land and sea around it. Following its trail path, visitors will witness lush green landscapes, an array of waterfalls and of course, during the evening, the striking northern lights in star filled skies. However, it is not the mountain’s amazing backdrop that makes it so mind-boggling. It is its rare symmetry that makes it the most photographed mountain in Iceland!

Flickr | Mariusz KucharczykAusangate- Cusco, Peru

Incredibly, the Earth has another rainbow mountain! The Ausangate is a mountain that is a part of the Vilcanota range in the Peruvian Andes. It is home to one of the most visited mountain treks in Peru and is also inhabited by one of the last herding communities in the world. The mountain is an agricultural hub scattered with horses, alpacas and glaciers that form rivers, sending water down to the mountain dwellers. Being such a spectacular feat of nature and standing at 6,384 metres tall, it is understandably used as grounds for a Quechuan religious pilgrimage in celebration of the stars. The festival takes place in the spring to coincide with a full moon. It celebrates the reappearance of the Pleiades constellation in particular, which signifies the arrival of a new year and a new harvest. Thousands of indigenous civilians join the feasting and dancing until the first ray of sun. Due to its significance, the mountain is known as an ‘Apu’, a sacred mountain. It is known as a life giver as it provides the community with water and food but its physical appearance reinforces its status to the Quechian people as one of God’s gifts.

Flickr | junaidrao Olympus Mons- Mars

We all know that the highest peak on earth belongs to Mount Everest, but we’re not just talking about our planet. Olympus Mons is a mountain, a volcano to be precise, on Mars which is roughly three times higher than Everest’s 8,848 metres! Since the configuration of Mars is obviously different to Earth’s, it is thought that its crust does not move in the same way. Its plate tectonics stay much more static than Earth’s, hence the ability to have volcanoes erupt and cool in the same place over and over again. That’s why the red planet has such large formations. Olympus Mons alone is slightly larger than the state Arizona and that’s just considering its diameter! Including its height at 21, 287 metres, Olympus Mons would be an unbelievable scene to the human eye.

Flickr | Kevin GillBy Hanna-Johara Dokal Online Journalism Intern

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