珠穆朗玛:世界第一的传奇人生  看视频学英语




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Every spring, hundreds of adventure-seekers dream of climbing Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest. At base camp, they hunker down for months waiting for the chance to scale the mountain's lofty, lethal peak.


Qomolangma [ˈtʃəʊməʊˌlɑːŋmə], Mount Everest [ˈɛvərɪst]:  珠穆朗玛峰,埃佛勒斯峰

base camp: 大本营;探险队等的营地

hunker: 蹲下,盘坐

sacle: 攀登

lofty: 高耸的;崇高的

lethal['liθl]: 致命的,致死的

每年春天,数以百计的探险者梦想着去攀登珠峰 (Qomolangma),也就是埃佛勒斯峰 (Mount Everest)。在营地,他们得经过数月蹲点,等待登顶这高耸、致命山峰的机会。

But why do people risk life and limb to climb Everest? Is it the challenge? The view? The chance to touch the sky? For many, the draw is Everest's status as the highest mountain on Earth. There's an important distinction to make here. Mauna Kea is actually the tallest from base to summit, but at 8850 meters above sea level, Everest has the highest altitude on the planet.


draw: 吸引

Mauna Kea: 莫纳克亚山,总高度10203米,海拔4205米

base: 底部

summit: 顶峰

sea level: 海平面

altitude: 海拔高度

为何人们甘冒生命危险去攀登珠峰呢?是挑战性?风景?还是触碰天空的机会?其实,许多人之所以被吸引,是因为它世界最高的名号。这里有个重要的区别,必须厘清。如果我们计算的是从山脚到山顶的高度,莫纳克亚火山才是真正的地球最高峰,可要是计算海拔的话, 海拔8850 米的珠峰是第一。

To understand how this towering formation was born, we have to peer deep into our planet's crust, where continental plates collide. The Earth's surface is like an armadillo's armor. Pieces of crust constantly move over, under, and around each other. For such huge continental plates, the motion is relatively quick. They move two to four centimeters per year, about as fast as fingernails grow. When two plates collide, one pushes into or underneath the other, buckling at the margins, and causing what's known as uplift to accomodate the extra crust. That's how Everest came about.


peer: 凝视,盯着看

crust: 地壳

continental plates: 大陆板块

collide[kə'laɪd](v.), collision(n.): 碰撞

armadillo['ɑrmə'dɪlo]: 犰狳 [qiú yú]

buckle: 使弯曲; (因受热或受压而) 变弯

margin: 边缘

要了解这座高耸的山是怎么形成的,我们必须深入地壳,去看看大陆板块的碰撞。地球的表面好比犰狳的鳞甲,一块块地壳不断地彼此碰撞抬升、挤压下陷以及平行滑过。对于这些庞大的陆地板块而言,移动速度相对来说已是迅速,大约每年能有2 到 4 公分,同我们指甲的生长速度相当。当两个板块发生碰撞,其中一块俯冲到另外一块下面,板块的边缘发生扭曲,造成「隆起」以囊括额外的地壳。珠峰就是这样形成的。

50 million years ago, the Earth's Indian Plate drifted north, bumped into the bigger Eurasian Plate, and the crust crumpled, creating huge uplift. Mountain Everest lies at the heart of this action, on the edge of the Indian-Eurasian collision zone.


drift: 漂流、漂移

bump into: 碰到,撞到

Eurasian Plate: 欧亚板块

crumple: 弄皱; 起皱

5 千万年前,印度洋板块北移,与更大的欧亚板块发生相撞,碰撞处地壳发生扭曲,造成巨大隆起。珠峰位于板块碰撞的中心,处于印度洋板块同欧亚板块交汇碰撞的地带。

But mountains are shaped by forces other than uplift. As the land is pushed up, air masses are forced to rise as well. Rising air cools, causing any water vapor within it to condense and form rain or snow. As that falls, it wears down the landscape, dissolving rocks or breaking them down in a process known as weathering. Water moving downhill carries the weathered material and erodes the landscape, carving out deep valleys and jagged peaks. This balance between uplift and erosion gives a mountain its shape.


air masses: 气团

water vapor: 水蒸气

condense: (气体、蒸汽) 冷凝

wear: 磨损; wear down: 磨平

landscape: 地形

dissolve[dɪ'zɑlv]: 使溶解; 溶解

weathering(n.): [地质] 风化作用; weather(v. )

erode(v.), erosion(n.): 侵蚀

jagged: 锯齿状的;参差不齐

除了隆起之外,还有其他造山的力量。当陆地被抬升,气团也被迫跟着上升。上升的空气冷却,其中的水蒸气冷凝,形成雨雪。雨雪落下,磨蚀地貌,溶解、分解岩石。人们将这个过程称为「风化作用」。水携带着被风化了的物质往下冲刷,侵蚀地表,刻出了深谷和锯齿状的山峰。就在这隆起与侵蚀的平衡间, 高山成形了。

But compare the celestial peaks of the Himalayas to the comforting hills of Appalachia. Clearly, all mountains are not alike. That's because time comes into the equation, too. When continental plates first collide, uplift happens fast. The peaks grow tall with steep slopes. Over time, however, gravity and water wear them down. Eventually, erosion overtakes uplift, wearing down peaks faster than they're pushed up.


celestial[sə'lɛstʃəl]: 天的,天上的

Appalachia: 阿巴拉契亚地区(美国东部的高原地区)

equation[ɪ'kweʒn]: 等式

steep: 陡峭的

gravity['ɡrævəti]: 引力,重力

overtake: 超过


A third factor shapes mountains: climate. In subzero temperatures, some snowfall doesn't completely melt away, instead slowly compacting until it becomes ice. That forms the snowline, which occurs at different heights around the planet depending on climate.


At the freezing poles, the snowline is at sea level. Near the equator, you have to climb five kilometers before it gets cold enough for ice to form. Gathered ice starts flowing under its own immense weight forming a slow-moving frozen river known as a glacier, which grinds the rocks below.


pole: 地极;磁极

equator[ɪ'kwetɚ]: 赤道

glacier['ɡleʃɚ]: 冰河,冰川

grind[ɡraɪnd]: 把…磨碎

在冰冷的两极,雪线就是海平面,而在赤道附近,需到 5000 米以上,才足以让水冷成冰。聚集起来的冰块,在自身巨大重量的作用下会开始缓缓移动,想成冰河,又或者说冰川,碾磨其下的岩石。

The steeper the mountains, the faster ice flows, and the quicker it carves the underlying rock. Glaciers can erode landscapes swifter than rain and rivers. Where glaciers cling to mountain peaks, they sand them down so fast, they lop the tops off like giant snowy buzzsaws.


underlying: 在下面的

swift: 迅速的

cling to: 依附;紧贴

sand down: 用砂纸磨光表面;磨损、磨平

lop: 砍去;截去

buzzsaw: 圆锯


So then, how did the icy Mount Everest come to be so tall? The cataclysmic continental clash from which it arose made it huge to begin with. Secondly, the mountain lies near the tropics, so the snowline is high, and the glaciers relatively small, barely big enough to widdle it down. The mountain exists in a perfect storm of conditions that maintain its impressive stature.


cataclysmic[,kætə'klɪzmɪk]: 大变动的

barely: 仅仅;几乎不

widdle: 小便;撒尿

stature: 身高,身材


But that won't always be the case. We live in a changing world where the continental plates, Earth's climate, and the planet's erosive power might one day conspire to cut Mount Everest down to size. For now, at least, it remains legendary in the minds of hikers, adventurers, and dreamers alike.


conspire: 合谋;协同

legendary['lɛdʒən'dɛri]: 传说的,传奇的

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