The Himalayan mountains formed around 40 to 50 million years ago. There is a whole history behind what really happened and how these mountains were formed. The Himalayan mountains, or the Himalayas is a mountain range in Asia. It is widespread in several countries in Asia. And the Himalayas are home to some of the tallest mountains in the world, including the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest. The Himalayan mountains separate the Tibetan Plateau from the Indian subcontinent. Furthermore, it has 9 one of the world’s tallest mountains which is also responsible for the formation of rivers, which in a lot of ways create an impact on the world climate.
There are so many interesting facts to learn about the Himalayan mountains and their origin. In this article, we will be talking about everything that you need to know about the Himalayan Mountains and how they were formed. Make sure to tune in with us till the end of this article to know about how the Himalayan mountains formed.
When did the Himalayan mountains form?
The Himalayan mountains were formed 40 to 50 million years ago. The mountains were formed as a result of a collision between two land masses. India and Eurasia were the two landmasses. One would submerge with the other, and the only way they could completely become one was by the rocky faces moving upwards towards the sky. This resulted in tall and high mountains.
Likewise, around 225 million years ago, India was not a part of the Asian continent but the Australian coast. It was much later that it moved northward in a matter of several centuries. Hence, modern day India is located in Asia. It was finally when India collided with the Asian subcontinent that the Himalayas finally started to form. This collision has to be the reason why these tall Asian mountains exist!
Stories from the rocks of the Himalayas
While the interpretation of the formation of the Himalayas has remained constant throughout the years, paired with several discoveries, there is a story that can be drawn from the rocks found in the Himalayan mountains. These rocks are the ones that have been there for several centuries and make up a story of their own.
A team of experts, and geologists, collected these rocks to come to a conclusion. And they did find some interesting things to share with the world on this journey. An ancient ocean existed before the collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates. This ocean, however, disappeared when India started moving towards Asia. The mix of the two tectonic plates works as a mark of the reason why the ancient ocean disappeared.
The lava rocks in the Himalayas are a result of a volcano that erupted around 60 million years ago. The geologists who went to collect the lava rocks went there with the intent to find a different story from what had been told for centuries about the Himalayan mountains. While people have always been talking about how the collision was only a momentary process, and the Indian and Eurasian plates collided in just a matter of a short time, the findings of these geologists say a completely different thing.
While it is true that the Himalayan mountains were formed when the two tectonic plates collapsed with one another, the process was gradual, and it involved at least two subduction zones and several stages of formation. This was taken as a conclusion when these researchers went to the Indian part of the Ladhakhi mountains to collect the lava rocks.
The ever-lasting magnetic letter in the Himalayan mountains
Everything that was found in the mountains tells a story. And so does the magnetic minerals in the mountains. The geologists and scientists who had been going to Ladhakh and collecting hundreds of samples of different rocks concluded that the rocks from the Himalayas were 60 million years old.
Similarly, while the story of the formation of the Himalayas remains constant, it has always been a mystery as to how the rocks in the mountains were formed before the collision of the two plates. The rocks were a result of volcanic eruptions. And after using a handheld drilling machine, the bedrock of the mountains was drilled to around 10 centimeters. After following the method of removing the magnetization of these rocks by heating them to about 1,256 degrees Fahrenheit (680 degrees Celsius), a map was built.
The end of this finding showed that the rocks in the Himalayas did not form in either Eurasian plates or Indian plates but on the Neotethys Ocean during the 60 million years old volcanic eruption in 8 degrees to the north and several thousand kilometers to present-day Eurasia.
At the time of the geologic period, Paleocene, India, was stuck with a chain of volcanic islands. After this, India started to move towards the north to Eurasia. This was around 40 to 45 million years ago. And it is around ten years later than what has always been told. The volcanic islands apparently moved upwards by 4000 meters after the collision of India and Eurasia.
Henceforth, this is exactly how the Himalayan mountain pass, as per the findings of these geologists, had formed.
How were the Himalayan mountains formed convergent or divergent?
The Himalayas mountains were formed convergent and not divergent. These Himalayan Mountains show a continent-continent convergent plate boundary. Two distinct layers of the continental crust compressed and raised the accretionary wedge material to create the mountains.
How did the Himalayas form Mount Everest?
Mount Everest was formed around 50 to 60 million years ago, which happens to be almost as old as the Himalayas. The birth of Mount Everest is as old as the birth of the Himalayas. Almost all the mountains were formed, in the Himalayas, when the Eurasian plate collided with the Indian plate. And the mountains, the modern-day Himalayan mountains, were all formed from the upward growth after the plates not being able to submerge horizontally.
The push of the rocks of the Indian and Eurasian plates caused the birth of Mount Everest. As per the standards of geology, the Himalayan range is very young. And so is the Mount Everest. Due to several conditions on Mount Everest, it is considered one of those places on the face of Earth which has the most likelihood of an earthquake. Moreover, the Himalayan range is still on the verge of growth to this day, and so is Mount Everest.
Who named Himalaya?
The pilgrim mountaineers in India named the mountain range Himalaya. In Sanskrit, Hima means snow, and laya means abode, which sums up to form the meaning of the mountain range, snowy abode. The great mountain system has very often been considered a holy place according to the Hindu religion as well.
Furthermore, in ancient times, many Hindu sages would be attracted to meditate in the laps of the Himalayan mountains. This quite justifies why they had named the range. The oldest name of the Himalayan mountains is Himavan. There had been a significance of the mountain as a deity who was in his persona, the Himalayan mountain range, back in ancient times.
What is the age of the Himalayan Mountains?
The Himalayan mountains are around 40-60 million years old. It formed from the collision of two tectonic plates, India and Eurasia. The mountains formed when the plates could not submerge horizontally and started to go upwards gradually. The tallest mountain that was formed in the process was Mount Everest, which is still the tallest mountain in the world.
Likewise, the formation of the Himalayan mountains also became the death of an ancient ocean, which apparently was present during ancient times much before the two tectonic plates collapsed into one.
Are the Himalayan mountains in Nepal, India, or China?
The Himalayan mountains stretch not just to Nepal, India, or China but to many other countries like Bhutan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. There are several Himalayan mountains in all these countries. This also shows the diversified nature of the Himalayan mountains, as well as how elongated it really is.
The Himalayan mountains go up to the northeast portion of India. The Tibetan Plateau is the Himalayan portion of China. And the Himalayan range is made out of three different ranges, namely, the Greater Himalayas, the Lesser Himalayas, and the Outer Himalayas.
Are the Himalayan mountains still growing?
Yes, the Himalayan mountains have always been growing gradually throughout centuries, and it is, even now. Therefore, this has led to several earthquakes and tremors, mostly in the Himalayan parts of Asia, which is the cause of the motions of the tectonic plates.
The Himalayan mountains have been growing by a few centimeters and so on since the collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates every century. Though the growth is not visible, it has always been there.
Why are the Himalayan Mountains famous?
The Himalayan mountain range is one of the longest mountain ranges stretching around 2500 km. The mountain range is also the home to the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest. Nine of the ten tallest mountains in the world are among the Himalayan mountains. And almost all of these mountains go beyond 8000 meters. The mountains have always been considered for expeditions by mountaineers worldwide. But these are also some of the most dangerous mountains in the world. Hence, the Himalayas have marked the deaths of many.
Though the Himalayan mountains have been referred to as the youngest mountains in the world, the Himalayan range was formed around 40-60 million years ago. Legendary and mythical creatures like Yeti have also been the main reason as to why people have always been interested in the Himalayan mountains. Additionally, Asia’s major rivers form from the Himalayan mountains itself. This heavily impacts the climate of the world.
The Himalayas is also known as the Third Pole of the world. The Himalayan mountain has the highest storage of ice and snow after the north and the south pole. Though there is no third pole on Earth, the Himalayas is still referred to as the third pole of the Earth.
How are the Himalayan mountains impacting humans?
Himalayan mountains have been there since the earliest time. Fifty-nine of the world’s mountains lie in the Himalayas. Likewise, the religious beliefs of the world’s Hindu population sustain with the presence of Mount Kailash, which has been deemed the abode of Lord Shiva. Many pilgrimages take place in the Kailash area every year.
On top of this, around 20% of the Earth’s population has been feeding on what the Himalayas have provided them. The Himalayas are also home to 600 billion tonnes of ice and about 15,000 glaciers. These glaciers support 1.65 billion people, or 20% of the world’s population, by feeding some of the most important river systems like the Indus and Mekong.
Expeditions to the mountains in the Himalayas have always remained high as these are all the mountains where the snow never melts. Though global warming has shown a significant difference in the glaciers from many years ago and now, the snow remains intact, contributing to the reservoirs providing fresh water.