The mountain is also prone to very harsh winds and sub-zero temperatures. Ice and snow cover the upper regions all year long.
Most living things could not survive a night at the top of Mount Everest.
But this harsh climate has also helped the mountain maintain its height.
Typically, glaciers and melting snow thaw and move down the mountain, slowly eroding the surface and carrying more of the mountain downhill.
But since Mount Everest rarely thaws, this never happens!
In fact, the mountain keeps getting taller!
Due to plate tectonics, the mountain continues to grow at a rate of around 40cm per century — an astonishing feat for a giant pile of rock, ice, and snow!
Despite being the highest peak on the planet, scientists believe that the Himalayas and Mount Everest are relatively young, forming around 65-million years ago.
The top of Mount Everest is made primarily of marine limestone and sandstone. However, as you head down the mountain, you’ll also find layers of marble, shale, pelite, granite, and gneiss.
Everest continues to draw visitors every year to brave its frigid peaks.
But it’s also a prime example of how nature can be both awe-inspiring and incredibly dangerous.
If you’re looking to explore Everest, we recommend starting with books or videos before venturing out!