You all know that the earth isn’t a perfect and smooth sphere with life residing in it. This world has several physical features like hills, mountains, rivers, oceans, etc. The rocky and tall features of your landscape are called mountains. The earth’s plates move against each other and form mountains over a course of millions of years. The mountains are pretty apparent physical features of the earth. Almost everyone has seen a mountain and knows what it is. But, do you know what are the advantages of mountains? Or what are the features of mountains? If not then stay with this article and find out.
1. Why do you have Mountains?
According to geologists, a landform that rises at least 1000 feet is classified as a mountain. A mountain is formed when pieces of the earth’s plates smash against each other in a process called plate tectonics. A mountain has immense importance for mankind. Its height can influence weather patterns. It stalls storms that roll off the oceans and squeezes water from the clouds. The natural borders of countries are often defined by mountains. They even become refugee places that protect the fleeting and invading armies. They provide 60-80% of all water resources of this planet and thus are the world’s water towers.
About half of the world’s population is dependent on the advantages of mountains and their ecosystems to survive and nearly 20% of global tourism is attracted by mountains. They have about one-quarter of all terrestrial biodiversity. A lot of food items also grow in mountains. (See What is the Difference Between Hills and Mountains?)
2. What are the Main Features of Mountains?
The main features of mountains are as follows:
- They are landforms with significant heights above sea level and/or their surrounding land.
- They are mostly steeper than hills.
- They can appear individually and can form a series of mountains called a mountain range.
- Mountains or mountain ranges have pointed tops called peaks.
- They are steadily being eroded by weather, glaciers, and rivers.
- Their higher elevations create colder temperatures than at sea level. The cold temperature has a strong effect on mountain habitats: on various animals and plants.
- They have a less hospitable climate and terrain and thus they are used more for resource production and recreation than for agriculture.
- They have different ecosystems than sea-level and surrounding flat land. Their climate has cooler humidity and thinner air. The higher the altitude of mountains the lesser the amount of oxygen available for breathing.
- They have less hospitable environments for animals and plants. Thus the plants and animals on mountains go through evolutionary adaptations to make the higher elevations their homes.
3. What are the Various Uses of Mountain?
After understanding the main features of mountains let’s now learn about their various uses of mountains. A landform that rises at least 1000 feet is classified as a mountain. There are millions of mountains around us but have you ever wondered about the uses of a mountain? A mountain is helpful to mankind and nature in various ways. Below are some of the advantages of mountains, that have been mentioned:
- It provides various mineral resources.
- It influences weather patterns.
- Nearly 20% of world tourism is based attached by mountains.
- It protects geographical regions from extremely cold winds.
- It provides 60-80% of all water resources on this planet.
- Many rivers originate from mountains and are useful in irrigation as well as electricity generation.
- There are many forests found in mountains. They are useful as a source of wood, herbs, etc.
- It’s useful for recreational activities like skiing and mountain climbing.
- It is home to about one-quarter of terrestrial biodiversity.
- It is used by many countries to define their natural borders.
- The fleeting and invading armies use mountains for refuge.
4. What Resources do Mountains provide?
There are too many advantages of mountains. The mountains provide society with significant resources for mining, water for drinking, forestry, and irrigation. It provides important goods like wood, clean air, pastures for livestock, food, etc. It provides resources for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, hydropower generation, tourism, and rangeland production. The mountain ecosystem provides for all these things through complex processes. (See How do Mountains affect Dry Areas like Nevada?)
5. What are the Advantages of Mountains?
Mountains are landforms formed due to the collision of the tectonic plates of the earth. These landforms are very useful for nature and humankind. Some advantages of mountains are as follows:
- They can be harnessed for the use of people as they act as water storehouses.
- They provide 60 to 80 percent of the world’s freshwater resources.
- The glaciers in the mountains are the originating source of many rivers.
- It protects geographical regions from extremely cold winds.
- Water from the mountains is efficiently used for hydroelectricity generation and irrigation.
- The terraces and river valleys of mountains are ideal for cultivating crops.
- Mountains have many forests and forests provide food, fuel, fodder, shelter, and many other products like raisins, wood, gum, etc.
- They can be used for recreational activities like river rafting, paragliding, mountain climbing, skiing, hang gliding, etc.
- They attract a lot of tourists.
- They are home to about one-quarter of terrestrial biodiversity.
- They are used by many countries to define their natural borders.
- The fleeting and invading armies also use mountains for refugees.
6. What are Advantages of Living on Mountains?
After learning about the advantages of mountains, let’s learn about the advantages of living on mountains. There is a significant amount of people who reside in the mountains. Mountains are always a favorite tourist location among people also. But have you ever considered living in mountains? If not, then these are the advantages of living on mountains:
- Fresh Air: The mountains are usually far from pollution and thus living on mountain tops allows you to breathe in the toxic-free fresh air. It prevents you from developing asthma and other acute respiratory diseases. Overall improve your lungs’ health.
- Lowers Heart Diseases Risk: Studies have shown that living in higher latitudes improves one’s heart health and condition.
- Peace: When you are living in the mountains you are close to nature and this keeps the stress away from you. It is great for your emotional and mental well-being. The stunning views of the landscapes surrounding your home reduce your anxiety and stress levels. You feel at peace in the mountains.
- Stay Active: Living in the mountains will require you to do a lot of physical activities and this helps you stay active. It helps in maintaining good health conditions and avoiding obesity.
- Milder Summer Temperatures: The higher elevations of mountains have milder temperatures, living here is a great way to beat the summer heat. There is a lot of privacy in the mountains and you can enjoy year-round activities like skiing, sledding, biking, observing nature and wildlife, hiking, etc.
7. What are the Importance of Mountains to Man?
After learning about the advantages of mountains as well as of living on them, let’s now learn about the importance of mountains to man. The mountains are very important for man as they provide 60 to 80% of all the freshwater in the world. They are the water towers of this world. Most of the rivers originate from the glaciers in mountains. These are then used to produce hydroelectricity and for irrigation.
Many forests are present in mountains and humans rely on these forests for fodder, fuel, shelter, etc. Things like wood, resins, gums, etc are all extracted from forests. Mountains are home to different varieties of flora and fauna. They protect geographical regions from extremely cold winds and have the ability to influence weather patterns. Humans use the advantages of mountains for recreational activities like skiing, bungee jumping, mountain climbing, etc. Many countries use mountains to define their natural borders and the fleeting and invading armies also use mountains as their refuge. Must read 16 Snowing in the Mountains Facts.
8. Why do You Feel Better in the Mountains?
After learning about the importance of mountains to man let’s see why you feel better in mountains. Well, when you go to the mountain there is a rise in altitude, and that causes the oxygen level in the air to lower. To compost for the loss of oxygen, your body boosts your hematocrit levels (quantity of red blood cells).
It is the same effect that athletes create artificially by using power-enhancing drugs. You get a natural boost from the mountain air and that too without any health risks. In mountains, you rediscover the beauty of nature and go through healing as well as regeneration. These reasons make you feel extremely better in mountains. (See What is the Difference between a Mountain and a Plateau?)
9. What are the Negatives of Mountains?
If you live in mountains there are some probable negatives you can face. Mostly mountains restrict trade and prevent farming. They are isolated from cities, states, or countries. It’s tricky and very expensive to build homes on a sloped lot. Telecommunication services are harder to access in mountains. In snowy mountains, it is difficult to get in and out. They are cold places and are not for people who hate cold. (Also read A Group of Mountains is Called?)