Introduction: Himalaya (02:16)
The highest mountain range on earth towers 30,000 feet into the sky and contains deserts, valleys, ancient traditions, underground caverns, and unique species. Few species face the extreme weather conditions daily.
Acceptance into a Pack (06:49)
The Himalayas extend 15,000 miles from Pakistan to China. In Yunnan province, a frozen forest, the snub-nosed monkey lives at high altitudes. Ostracized by his mother, a three-year-old monkey fights for a position with a pack of males.
Isolated Valleys (04:33)
Winds blow at 175 miles-per-hour and temperatures drop to -40 at the highest altitudes. At the village of Kibber in Northern India, residents must live completely self-sufficiently during winter, because the roads are blocked. The "Ghost of the Himalaya" is eating their livestock at night.
Snow Leopard (03:21)
A long-tail helps the feline balance on cliffs. Kibber residents and local conservation groups organized a conservation area for wild blue sheep, a natural prey.
Indian Monsoon (03:58)
3000 tons of rain falls in four months because clouds cannot carry precipitation over the Himalayan Mountains. Near Mount Machapuchare, water bores a hole underground creating a labyrinth of caves. Greater horseshoe bats flourish in the constant 40-degree weather.
In Ladakh, rain clouds are kept out by high peaks where the Silk Road once existed. The Bactrian camel can traverse sandy dunes and rocky mountain passes. Two humps hold one hundred pounds of fat for food storage.
Religious Pilgrimage (02:13)
Traveling high into the Himalayas makes Tibetan monks' visions sharper and wisdom clearer. While lamas live in caves in the mountain for eight months, they live a solitary existence.
Lhotse Mountain (05:26)
Born underground, Himalayan Marmot babies need to triple their weight in twelve weeks; the rodents fight to secure territory. Predators include the Himalayan brown bear, Tibetan fox, and golden eagles. Yak males compete for the right to mate with females.
School in the Himalayas (02:37)
Teenagers traverse a 650-foot gorge using a basket and zipline. After spending two hours taking an exam, they return home.
Tibetan Plateau (02:50)
This area of land is larger than the southern United States. Animals include the kiang, chiru, and the Tibetan hot springs snake. Thermal pools are heated by magma under the earth.
Mount Everest (06:46)
The tallest mountain on earth is also known as Chomolungma; a river of ice constantly changes the mountain's terrain. Athletes gather to participate in the Everest Marathon. Altitude sickness causes headaches and nausea in the runners racing to Namche Bazaar.
Himalayan Jumping Spider (02:56)
This arthropod lives above Mount Everest base camp and has eight eyes. It can jump 50 times its body length and lives on rocks warmed by the sun. Food includes stray insects blown up the side of the mountain by the wind.
The Death Zone (01:55)
Oxygen levels drop so low the body starts to die. Individuals summon their courage to reach the apex but can only remain for 15 minutes before descending.
Buddhist Ritual (04:36)
Tibetan monks gather calcite, ground it into sand, and mix it with colorful dyes. The Sand mandala represents the universe with the center running through the Himalayas. Destroying it demonstrates the transitory nature of Earth.
Credits: Himalaya (00:31)
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