Today, science takes on the “holy mother” of all mountains—Everest.

Like all good things, Everest is becoming overcrowded with tourists
Some are saying that there has been an influx of rich, inexperienced individuals paying their way up the slopes, as well as too many climbers in general. And what's the problem with this? They’re leaving behind a veritable amount of gear, garbage, and, well, shit pyramids (which, by the way, tend to freeze and stay there).

More than 3,500 people have climbed Everest, and as more attempt it, there have even been waits of more than two hours on the last leg of the ascent because of crowding. Mountaineers have been leading annual Eco-Everest Expeditions to remove trash (and the occasional corpse; which also tend to freeze and stay there), since 2008. Nepali officials are also considering capping the number of climbers allowed on the mountain to mitigate these problems, though there are some local benefits from the tourism.

Everest’s glaciers have shrunk by 13 percent and its snowline has moved up more than 500 feet in the last 50 years
Researchers believe climate change is the cause. GlacierWorks, founded by mountaineer David Breashers in 2007, has an interactive website where you can explore views on the mountain, as well as see comparison pictures of the receding glaciers and snow. This is especially concerning because Everest’s ice caps, along with other Himalayan glaciers and ice caps, are the “water tower” for Asia, as they are a water source for nearly 1.5 billion people.

Researchers are testing the role of oxygen in the body at an Everest base camp
For two months, doctors and scientists have been conducting experiments at Everest Base Camp to analyze how quickly the body adapts to low levels of oxygen. Volunteers are tested as they ascend up the mountain to see how they react. About 25 percent of those tested tend to adapt significantly more easily to low oxygen than the rest, and researchers hope to improve care for regular patients with a variety of issues that cause oxygen depletion.