Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Some fun facts about Mt. Kilimanjaro

I figure I should educate myself a bit.

1. Mount Kilimanjaro stretches 5,895 meters into the sky, making it the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. It’s also the highest point in Africa.

2. Mount Kilimanjaro is actually a massive stratovolcano that was formed by repeated lava flow. It has three volcanic cones, two of which are extinct. The third cone, Kibo, is the highest point on the mountain and is dormant.

3. There are six distinct ecological systems on the mountain: cultivated land, rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and finally the arctic summit.

4. Coffee is grown on the lower slopes and is a major export.

5. A porter from the first successful summit lived to see the centennial of that climb. At the time of the anniversary he was 118 years-old.

6. Johannes Rebmann, a German missionary, is credited with discovering Mount Kilimanjaro in 1848. He explored the lower slopes and sent the Royal Geographical Society his findings, including a description of a snow-capped summit. Experts at the time doubted the possibility of a snow-capped mountain located
near the equator.

7. The snow caps are rapidly diminishing, having lost over 80 per cent of its mass since 1912, likely due to climate change. They could be entirely gone by 2020.

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