The Himalayas

The Himalayas are the world's tallest mountain range and form the border between India and the rest of Asia. The name Himalaya translates as 'abode of snow' due to th fact that the majority of the mountains are covered in snow all year round. The Himalayas are the home of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world which is in Nepal and rises to 29,028 Feet.

Mount Everest's North face

Himalayas, Mount Everest, North face, Mountain

The Himalayan mountain range covers which includes a few smaller subranges, stretches across six countries, Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Some of the world's major rivers including the Indus, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, and the Yangtze, rise in these mountains and stretch out in various directions before becoming home to nearly 1.3 Billion people who live next to and depend on the rivers for their food and lively hoods.

The flora and fauna of that inhabits these mountains is as varied as its altitude. Climate, rainfall, altitude, and soil determine what wildlife and plants choose to live here. The climate ranges from tropical at the base of the mountains to permanent ice and snow at the highest peaks. The amount of yearly rainfall increases from west to east along the front of the range.

The Himalayan mountain range were formed relatively recently in the earth's history. Over 250 million years ago the world was pretty much one massive land mass surrounded by a huge ocean. An Extensive sea covered the area which is now home to the Himalayas. Over time, the single land mass broke up and as a result, the Indian subcontinent was formed. 50 Million years later it began moving north towards what is now known as Asia. It was believed to have moved at around 15-20 cm a year and over the next 130 million years the sea slowly but surely disappeared. The mountains as we know them now, started forming around 70 million years ago as the Indian SubContinent carried on forceing its way into to Asia. As the continents collided, what was the bed of the old sea gradually began to be forced upwards and as it folded and buckled again and again, it formed long ridges and valleys. The mountains have slowly been getting taller and taller for around sixty million years although most of the growing has occurred in phases, the last of which was about 600,000 years ago.

Himalayas from space, Himalayas, Panoramic

The Indian subcontinent keeps on moving and forcing its way north at around 2cm a year which means that the mountains are still growing at a steady rate of about 5mm a year. It's nothing like the rate it was when they where just emerging but as a consequence the mountains are structurally unsound and earthquakes along the the entire length of the mountain range are a frequent occurrence.

Mt Manaslu in Nepal

Manaslu Mountain, Himalayas, Mountain

A poem about the Himalayas

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