Why is Mount Everest Sometimes Called the “Roof of the World”
Nestled within the Great Himalayas’ unforgiving terrains, Mount Everest proudly stands as the highest mountain peak in the world. At a staggering 8,848.86 meters above sea level, this magnificent peak transforms into a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop against the Asian Skyline. For centuries, this mountain has been revered and respected, often referred to as “Sagarmatha” in Nepal and “Chomolungma” in Tibet. However, a common epithet that reigns supreme and is globally understood is “Roof of the World.” But, why is Mount Everest addressed so?
The Exaltation of Mount Everest
The title “Roof of the World” was initially used for the Pamirs, stretching between modern Tajikistan and Chinese Xinjiang for their impressive elevation. It was later inherited by Mount Everest when it was discovered that it was the highest peak in the world. The term clearly draws from the metaphorical image of it towering over the world and its proximity to the sky like a roof over a house.
The Imposing Geography
Mount Everest’s solitary grandeur, imposing geographical features, and tremendously high altitude have significantly contributed to it earning this grand title. Its location in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas makes it a geographical edifice of epic proportions. It’s a literal high above the surrounding topography and metaphorical high above all mountains globally, strongly bolstering its “roof” image.
A Cultural Significance
The term “Roof of the World” also holds cultural significance. In many cultures, especially those living at the foothills of the Himalayas, mountains are considered sacred and divine. Their towering heights are perceived as a bridge between the earthly realms and the heavenly skies above.
Symbol of Challenge and Triumph
Over the years, Mount Everest has emerged as a symbol of challenge and human triumph over adversity. It’s considered the ultimate destination for mountaineers across the world. Climbing the Everest is considered the pinnacle of mountaineering achievement and a testament to human will, strength, and survival spirit. These elements have adequately cemented this behemoth’s reputation as the “Roof of the World”.
While the phrase “Roof of the World” paints an imposing picture of a mountain towering over our planet, it’s important to comprehend the layers of meaning it carries. The term not only speaks of the mountain’s impressive height but also denotes symbolic, cultural, and historical contexts. It beautifully encapsulates Mount Everest’s imminence, grandeur, and symbolic stature, making it more than merely a geographical landmark but an icon of global resonance.
1. When was Mount Everest discovered to be the world’s highest peak?
The formal discovery of Mount Everest as the highest peak in the world was made in 1856 by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of British India.
2. Who was the first one to climb Mount Everest?
The first successful climb of Mount Everest was achieved on May 29, 1953, by Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay from Nepal.
3. Why is Mount Everest so challenging to climb?
The extreme altitude, fierce winds, sub-zero temperatures, and risk of avalanches make it immensely challenging to climb Mount Everest. Additionally, climbers have to grapple with altitude sickness, frostbite, and extreme exhaustion.
4. Has Mount Everest’s height changed over the years?
Yes. The most recent measure in 2020 by a joint team from China and Nepal declared the height of Mount Everest to be slightly taller at 8,848.86 meters, a small increase from its earlier known height.
5. Are there bodies on Mount Everest?
Yes, Mount Everest is the final resting place for many climbers who lost their lives during their ascents and descents. The harsh conditions on the mountain make it nearly impossible to retrieve the bodies.