Mount Everest isn't kidding around.
At over 29,000 feet high, it is nature's single greatest achievement.
Its scale is staggering. Its peaks magnificent. Its snow supremely powdery.
Only a lucky few ever get to see it in person.
In case you become one of those lucky few, here are the nine reactions you are, statistically, most likely to have, as studied*. By scientists**.
When you catch your first glimpse of the tallest peak in the known world, whose summit would virtually scrape the bottom of a 747 at its cruising altitude, your first reaction will likely be a standard, "Whoa."
It's basic, but — no judgment — entirely appropriate.
2. "Whoa. Wow."
Similar to the standard, "Whoa," but also with a "Wow."
According to experts, this is a normal reflex reaction to the experience of laying eyes on a towering monument of granite and limestone that is 10 times taller than the tallest building in the world and getting taller every year, making a complete and utter mockery of human ingenuity, especially when you stop to consider that over 4,000 people have been on top of it.
It is also natural to be totally speechless.
4. "I think I left the toaster plugged in."
There's nothing worse than getting all the way to Nepal and then realizing you forgot something important at home. But now you've thought about it, and you can't unthink it. And there's a good chance you're going to spend your whole vacation worrying about the small, but non-zero likelihood that you will return home and find all your earthly possessions destroyed by a raging fire.
The most annoying part? You probably didn't leave the toaster plugged in. But now you know it's possible.
Either way, now you can't be sure, and you'll just have to wing it.
I mean ... just...
6. "I'mma ski down that!"
For a number of reasons related to wanting to live to a ripe old age, see one's children have children, and collect Social Security, most people don't have this reaction. But Davo Karnicar did.
In 2000, Karnicar, who was born in Slovenia and now lives in a beer commercial, became the first person to ski from the summit of Mount Everest all the way back to base camp. It took him five hours.
He subsequently commenced smiling for the rest of his life.
7. "I wonder what global warming will do to this thing."
At some point, you will probably be a buzzkill. It's hard to blame you. Someone's got to think about this stuff. Might as well be you.
And it's a good thing you did, because the glaciers on Mount Everest are in some seriously deep crud. Some projections have them melting 70% to 99% by 2100.
You will be glad you got the gawking in while the getting's good. But also, it will inspire you to go home and raise hell! Beat the drum! The change begins with you! Get that butt moving, Charley! Mount Everest needs you.
8. "Holy moly."
It's a little old fashioned, but yeah, holy moly! And, like, forget its sheer size. Mount Everest has been around a long time. Over 60 million years, to be kinda sorta exact. When Mount Everest was invented, there were no humans (but lots of bear dogs!), but now you can get 3G on the summit.
I guess human ingenuity is good for something after all — and that is playing competitive Words with Friends on the top of Mount Everest. Holy moly!
Upon turning a corner near some rocks and realizing that Mount Everest is right in front of you, there's a good chance you will want to exclaim, "Jesus!" but will be too overwhelmed to even finish the whole word as your voice trails off into a weird mush of vowels. And that's OK. We get the point.
You've seen Mount Everest. And you feel not unlike this:
Who can blame you? I certainly can't.