The Unrecognized- Under water

Posted by Freddy on Jul-4-2009

Some are misfortunate; they don’t receive the appreciation they ought to get. All their talents, qualities and attributes go unnoticed. This trend is not limited to humans but it extends to all living and non living things.

You might be wondering, why I am getting so philosophical. I have got my own reasons for that. I was watching a quiz programme on TV. A question was asked , which is the highest mountain peak in the world?. The answer came at “rapid fire speed – Mount Everest” and the team was awarded the point, since Everest is considered to be the highest peak. Unfortunately no one is considering Mauna kea.

Actually Mauna Kea in Hawaii is the world’s tallest, if you measure it from its base, to its summit; its total height is about 29,796, or about 770 feet taller than Mt Everest. But unfortunately about 2/3 of it is under the Pacific Ocean. Mauna Kea’s summit is 9 kilometers above the adjacent ocean floor, making Mauna Kea the tallest mountain in the world. The under water portion is not taken into account and this large land form is not even considered as the second tallest .

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, one of five volcanic peaks that together form the Island of Hawaii. In Hawaiian, mauna kea means “white mountain”, a reference to the fact that it is regularly snow or frost capped during the northern hemisphere winter. Its highest point, Pu’u WÄ“kiu , is the highest in the state of Hawaii at 13,796 ft.

The summit plateau of Mauna Kea is entirely above timberline, with a landscape of mostly lava rock with patches of alpine tundra. Snowfall often occurs at elevations above 11,000 feet during the period from November through March. During particularly cold and wet winters, which are usually linked to La Niña, a snowpack several feet deep may remain in the summit region above 13,000 feet for weeks or months. This permits skiing and other snow play activities on the slopes of the cinder cones.
The legend says that the summit of Mauna Kea is the home of the snow goddess, “Poliahu”. It is also an important site for prayer, burials, consecration of children, and traditional celestial observation. In addition, the summit area is home to a unique insect, the wÄ“kiu bug, which feeds on insects blown to the summit by updrafts

Between 5,200 and 8,000 feet , there is a group of farm land which was formerly koa-mamane forest but has been almost entirely converted to pasture. This area has suffered from heavy infestations of gorse, an invasive species in Hawaii. Most of the north and west slopes are also pasture. The palila, an endangered finch-like honeycreeper, feeds almost exclusively on mamane seeds and lives in mamane-naio forest on the west slope. Large numbers of feral sheep inhabit the upper elevations, and have had a severe impact on the native vegetation.

The Eastern slopes are covered in Hawaiian tropical rainforests between about 1,500 and 5,200 feet .In the lower part of the mountain , there are extensive agricultural lands.

The summit of Mauna Kea has been a celestial observatory since ancient times and is considered to be one of the best astronomical sites in the world and because of this, it is home to many of the world’s leading astronomical observatories.

After millions of years of building itself up by volcanic activity, the mountain’s height is slowly decreasing as it is being crushed under its own massive weight into the Pacific seafloor. Or is it disappointment, by lack of recognition, which leading to this slow suicide???

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