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  • Mountains tend to be narrower at the top than they are at the bottom – otherwise theyll

  • eventually fall down – but that doesn’t mean that mountains are always SMALLER at

  • the top. Because, what matters to most land creatures is the amount of landthat is,

  • the surface area, not the volume –  unless youre a mining company that plans to pulverize

  • the entire mountain into smithereens. Then volume matters.

  • But to the rest of us, we care about surface area – and surprisingly, the area of land

  • on a mountain doesn’t necessarily get smaller as you go higher up the mountain – especially

  • when that mountain is part of a mountain range, as mountains tend to be.

  • Simple, lone mountains with shapes like cones or spikes or inverted parabolas do indeed

  • have less surface area the higher up you go, though a parabolic mountain has a lot more

  • area high up than a spikey mountain. And broader, flatter, mountains can actually have MORE

  • area the higher you go up, at least until you get to the very top. These mountains do

  • get skinnier as they go up, but they get flatter so much faster than they get skinnier that

  • from the perspective of available surface area theyre bigger on top than at the bottom!

  • And when you put mountains together into RANGES, it’s even more complicated. Some ranges

  • have LESS land area the higher you go up, some have MORE area, some have more and then

  • less, and some actually have more area at both the bottom and top and less area in the

  • middle!

  • In fact, if you do a survey of mountain ranges the world over, youll find that only around

  • a third of them have a constantly decreasing amount of land the higher you go, and the

  • rest exhibit one of the other weirdtop-heavyoptions.

  • In other words, despite appearances and as odd as it sounds, MOST mountain ranges are

  • bigger near their tops. Which has interesting implications for any land-dwelling creatures

  • that might want to move their homes and businesses up or down mountains, if, I don’t know,

  • the climate changes or something.

  • And one more weird fact: a perfectly hemispherical mountain, while impossible in reality, has

  • just the right shape to get skinnier at the same rate that it gets flatter, so it has,

  • amazingly, the exact same amount of area at every elevationThe same math also means

  • that if you evenly slice an orange, each piece will have roughly the same amount of skin

  • but different amounts

  • of fruit.

Mountains tend to be narrower at the top than they are at the bottom – otherwise theyll


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B1 中級

顛倒山的現實生活 (Upside Down Mountains in Real Life)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日