Mount Everest Is Covered in Our Germs

March 16, 2023

Mount Everest has developed an unfortunate reputation as a dumping ground for empty oxygen bottles, tattered tents, and yes, tons of poop. It turns out, the throngs of climbers ascending Everest each year have left something perhaps even grosser behind: their germs.

Researchers at the University of Colorado recently analyzed soil taken at 26,000 feet on the world’s highest peak and discovered the same bacteria you might find in a toddler’s soggy Kleenex. According to their study, published in the journal Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, DNA from bacteria Streptococcus and Staphylococcus is dormant but alive, frozen in ice and rocks on Everest’s flanks. Outside Online