Sunday, January 06, 2008

Mount Tempo - Osaka, Japan

We were watching The Amazing Race tonight and the contestants travelled to Osaka, Japan. One of the stops that they had to stop at was Mount Tempo, Japan's smallest mountain.

According to the information I've gleaned from the internets, it says the mountain is 4.53 metres (14.9 feet) tall.

It got me thinking about what really constitutes a mountain. I mean, if I'm in the middle of the flattest piece of land, couldn't I say that I'm on the smallest mountain?

A mountain is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain in a limited area. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill, but there is no universally accepted standard definition for the height of a mountain or a hill although a mountain usually has an identifiable summit.
[A] landmass that projects conspicuously above its surroundings and is higher than a hill.
[L]andform that rises prominently above its surroundings, generally exhibiting steep slopes, a relatively confined summit area, and considerable local relief. Mountains generally are understood to be larger than hills, but the term has no standardized geological meaning. Very rarely do mountains occur individually. In most cases, they are found in elongated ranges…
Based upon these three definitions, I dispute Mount Tempozan's "mountain" status as it fails the rising prominently above its surroundings smell test.

I also realize I used an entire post to dispute the legitimacy of a fairly meaningless tourist attraction.

On an unrelated note, my backyard constitutes Canada's smallest grassland. We haven't decided what the admission is.

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