Everest ice melt reveals dozens of dead bodies

Melting ice on Mt Everest is uncovering a grisly sight - dozens of dead bodies.

More than 300 people have died attempting to reach the summit of the world's tallest mountain. Most are left to lie where they fall due to the difficulty in bringing them down from such high altitudes.

Perfectly preserved in the freezing temperatures, they serve as macabre signposts to the summit. Others are covered in snow and ice and can disappear for decades.

But warming temperatures are melting Mt Everest's glaciers and exposing these bodies.

"Because of global warming, the ice sheet and glaciers are fast melting and the dead bodies that remained buried all these years are now becoming exposed," Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association, told BBC News.

"We have brought down dead bodies of some mountaineers who died in recent years, but the old ones that remained buried are now coming out."

Many are being found around Camp 4, a relatively flat area.

"Hands and legs of dead bodies have appeared at the base camp as well in the last few years," an NGO official told BBC News.

"We have noticed that the ice level at and around the base camp has been going down, and that is why the bodies are becoming exposed."

Another government official added that he had personally retrieved around 10 dead bodies recently.

It's not just dead bodies that are increasingly a problem. Global warming is also uncovering years' worth of human faeces from mountains around the world.

USA Today reports North America's tallest mountain, Denali, could be home to around 66 tonnes of human waste from climbers who left it frozen for years.

National Park Service glaciologist Michael Loso conducted experiments that showed discarded excrement left in snow pits or thrown into deep crevasses in the mountain eventually resurfaced downstream, despite people thinking for years it would be ground up by the ice.

"The waste will emerge at the surface not very different from when it was buried... It will be smushed and have been frozen and be really wet," he told USA Today.

"We expect it to still smell bad and look bad."


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