Technology / Science

Netherlands to build a £270 billion fake mountain

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02 Sep 2011 at 12:22hrs | 846 Views
The Netherlands is to spend thirty years and as much as £270 billion building a fake mountain to help the famously flat country become a winter sport superpower.

The idea came from a Dutch sports journalist called Thijs Zonneveld, who suggested in a tongue-in-cheek article that a man-made mountain should be built to help overcome the lack of decent hills in his homeland.

But his cheeky suggestion was taken seriously by Dutch architects' firm Hoffers and Kruger, who drew up plans for a 7,000ft mountain - that's twice the height of Snowdon, and far bigger than 4,409ft Ben Nevis.

The plans caught the imagination of the Dutch, and quickly received backing from the Dutch Ski Association, Dutch Climbing and Mountaineering Association and Royal Dutch Cycling Union.

Now, local authorities and several major corporations are getting involved in the idea, with sponsorship deals on the horizon that could help start the far-fetched plan on the road to fruition - and the man who had the original idea is delighted.

"This plan is serious," insisted Zoneeveld. "All kinds of big companies have now stepped in, various municipalities and investors are interested."

The project is provisionally named "Die Berg Komt Er", or "The Mountain Comes", presumably in a reference to the phrase, "bring the mountain to Mohammed".

A working group has already been set up to look further at the feasibility of the project, which is projected to cost anywhere between £40bn and £270bn and take up to 30 years to build.

The basic plan is to construct a skeleton which would then be covered in organic material using technology which already exists to create a truly living mountain - one which, perhaps even more unbelievably, could be located on land or out at sea.

Even more surprising, perhaps, the hollow mountain could become a city in itself, with houses, shops, arenas and even roads and railways within.

And while  the mountain will eventually be used for power production, housing and water supply, Zonneveld insists that it is the love of sport which will make it happen.

"Sport is perhaps the main reason why there is so much attention for this mountain," he said. "Sport captures the imagination."

Source - Yahoo News

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