Mount Everest (8848 m) is one of the most famous mountain peaks among climbers. Standing at the height of 8848 m, it is the highest mountain peak on this planet. Hundreds of climbers take part in a dangerous climbing expedition every year to conquer the highest mountain in the world and register their names in the record books.
How old is Mount Everest? What is the geological age of Mount Everest? These are some of the questions that might arise in your mind. Read further to know more about the estimated geological age of Mount Everest.
How was Mount Everest formed?
Mount Everest is a part of the majestic Himalayas, and thus the age of the mountain peak coincides with the age of the formation of the Himalayas. Early reports suggest that the Himalayas were duly formed by the collision of the Indian and the Eurasian plate.
This collision took place between 40 million to 50 million years ago. This geological time period is also known as Eocene Epoch. The collision ensured many extraordinary geologic results including the creation of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. This process altered the global climatic condition by bringing changes in the weathering patterns. The transfer rate of carbon to the atmosphere and the wind circulation altered significantly.
Moreover, the collusion also changed the oceanic productivity pattern by increasing erosion and subsequently the nutrient runoff to the Indian Ocean. This collision dates back to 55 million years, and hence it was previously concluded that the age of Mount Everest was around 55 million years. However, newer studies suggest that a mountain range existed even before the collision, which dates back to 500 million years.
In simpler words, around 500 million years ago, the collision led to the shuffling of continents. This further led to the formation of a supercontinent called, “Pangaea.” Years later, this too broke up and led to the creation of other significant continents. The Indian plate then started moving towards Eurasia, leading to a massive collision. This led to the formation of Mount Everest, and the entire Himalayas.
Some unverified researches have also found the fossils of marine animals, like fish and mollusks in the Everest region. This research also concludes that at some point, the Himalayas lay under the sea. However, this study involves much guesswork and hence is not a piece of conclusive evidence.
What is the actual age of Mount Everest?
Multiple studies and researches suggest that the Indian plate collided to form a mountain range around 500 million years ago. Moreover, another collision took place around 55 million years ago to create another mountain range. Hence, the geological age of Mount Everest is around 500 million years.
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