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Roofs of the World

Roofs of the World
Mountains
Mars has Mount Olympus which holds the record of the tallest mountain in the Solar System at 21,171 m.

{He created the heavens without pillars that you see and has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it should shift with you, and dispersed therein from every creature. And We sent down rain from the sky and made grow therein [plants] of every noble kind.} (Surat Luqmān 31:10).

Mountains are land formations that are useful for people in many ways including forestry, logging, rainfalls, glaciers, rivers, lakes, ponds, tourism, recreation, mountaineering, camping, hiking, skiing, mining and even strategic tactical protection.

Earth’s tallest mountain is Everest at 8,848 m. However, Mount Olympus on Mars holds the record of the tallest mountain in the entire Solar System known to Man (21,171 m).

Interestingly, mountains cover 1/5 of Planet Earth’s terrestrial surface, and occur in 75% of the world’s countries.

Beside the numerous benefits we get from mountains, they can still pose many challenges. For example, mountainous terrain requires more difficult engineering and higher costs to plant infrastructure than on plain ground. The southern European country of Andorra is the sole country in the world which doesn’t have airports, and the reason is that the country’s entire terrain is mountainous, making it unable to receive landings.

Satellites also find it more difficult to peer into mountains than regular crust. Mountains are generally not suitable habitat for agriculture. Higher elevation also witness less protection against Ultra Violet rays and harmful solar radiations, not to mention lower levels of oxygen which, at such altitudes, could cause Acute Mountain Sickness Hypoxia.

This article was first published in 2001 and is currently republished for its uniqueness.

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