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Mount Everest May Have Shrunk As A Result Of 2015 Nepal Earthquake

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Nepal is sending a four-man expedition team to the peak of Mount Everest to clear up the questions surrounding the world's tallest and most famous mountain.

Back in 2015, Nepal was hit with a strong 7.8-magnitude earthquake. One of the long-lasting effects of the quake was on the country's prized mountain.

After the natural disaster, researchers found satellite evidence that Mount Everest is now about 1 inch shorter than it used to be.

Officially, Mount Everest stands at 29,029 feet or about 8,848 meters, a number recorded by an Indian survey in 1954. While various teams have gone on to measure the mountain, it remains the widely accepted height.

Nepal's four-man team is setting out to discover whether it's time to change the records or not.

Team Prepares To Measure Everest's Height

According to Agence France-Presse, the country's Survey Department appointed four climbers to trek the treacherous mountain.

"We are sending a team because there were questions regarding the height of Everest after the earthquake," Susheel Dangol, expedition coordinator from the Survey Department, explained to AFP.

Commissioned in 2017, the four surveyors spent the last two years preparing their methodology, collecting ground readings, and training for the extreme conditions they're going to encounter on their expedition.

Researchers Argue Over True Height of Mount Everest

It marks the first time Nepal will conduct its own survey on their legendary mountain. The country's Survey Department hopes that the expedition will squash the speculation about the mountains shrinkage with the findings.

It's not just the claims of Mount Everest shrinking after the 2015 earthquake that the Nepalese are trying to settle. Nepal and China have long argued over the mountains true height with the latter saying it's actually 13 feet shorter than the 1954 measurement indicated.

An American team also surveyed Mount Everest in 1999 using GPS technology. Their findings show that the mountain is taller than previous records, giving the peak another 6.6 feet (2 meters) of height.

The Dangers Of Mount Everest

The four surveyors taking the journey to the top of the mountain will face plenty of extreme challenges on their way to the summit.

According to the Himalayan Database, there have been more than 280 deaths on Mount Everest. BBC reports that the most common cause of death from 2010 to 2018 is avalanche accidents (41.6 percent), followed by acute mountain sickness (16.6 percent), exhaustion (12.5 percent), and falling (6.9 percent).

However, the team is confident they can work through the challenges.

"It will not be easy to work in that terrain, but we are confident our mission will be successful," said Khim Lal Gautam, the expedition leader and chief surveyor.

Gautam summited Everest in 2011.

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