Friday, February 29, 2008

Backyard Glaciers

If you have a big enough backyard you and the conditions are right you could be making glaciers in it not to mention doing good things for the environment while you are at it.

BACK in the 13th century, when news of Genghis Khan and his marauding Mongol hordes reached what is now northern Pakistan, the people there came up with an unlikely means of keeping them out. According to local legend, villagers blocked the mountain passes by simply growing glaciers across them.

Whether or not these stories are true, the art of glacier growing - also known as glacial grafting - has been practiced for centuries in the mountains of the Hindu Kush and Karakorum ranges. It was developed as a way to improve water supplies to villages in valleys where glacial melt water tended to run out before the end of the growing season.

That is an interesting piece of history trivia that you never most likely never learned at school. History such as this would be so much easier to remember and love. Who cares about the date of Genghis Khan's invasion if you are have the ancient glacier-making formula down and get to know something about the magical Kalash tribe.

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