A Balloon Trip to the Highest Point on Earth


Hey there! Ever wanted to have a ride in a hot air balloon? Well, look no further: today I’ll take you
into the skies… and even a little beyond — because I can! My balloon here is made of a special material,
so we’ll fly as close to outer space as possible. Ready to ride? Hop in, then! We’re just off the ground and here we are,
at the average height of the trees. Remember yourself as a kid, when you climbed
every tree you saw, pretending to be the Monkey King? Ah, good times! Hey, I think I can see my house from here! Anyway, we’re going further upwards, and
we’re finally at the height of the tallest tree on Earth: Hyperion. Located in California, this redwood stands
at 380 ft tall. Ooh, the wind here is pretty strong! See how Hyperion sways? A real titan of a tree! Now, going juuust a little bit up, and we’re
looking at the top of the tallest rollercoaster in the world, Kingda Ka in New Jersey, standing
at 418 ft. It’s also the second fastest in the world
too! Wanna take a ride on that beast? Tell me down in the comments! I’m not up for that one! Okay, speeding up a little. At the height of 1,125 ft, we’re flying
over the Millau Viaduct in France. Yes, it’s a bridge, and it’s three times
as tall as the tallest tree on Earth. What a view! And I wonder how cars don’t get blown away
by the fierce winds up here! At 2,080 ft, we’ve reached the top of the
Tokyo Skytree — the tallest observation tower in the world. And there are things to observe from here,
I’m telling ya! From this height, I think I can see my house
again, but I’m not sure. Okay, and now we’re finally reaching the
height of the tallest building ever made: the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It’s 2,722 ft tall, and the sky seems to
be closer here than the ground. Oh my. My head’s spinning a bit. We’re now past the point where human-made
things ruled the heights, and we’re entering the kingdom of nature. Our first waypoint is Angel Falls in Venezuela,
standing at 3,212 ft. Did you know it was this place that inspired
the movie Up? Well, now you do. Shall we speed up again? Fire up! Huh? What’s that? A drop of water? Oh boy, it seems like we’re heading straight
at a rain cloud! Hang on to something, it’s gonna be a rough
ride!.. Phew, barely made it. Did you see that lightning? We’ve just passed through a real storm cloud. They’re the lowest hanging clouds of all
because they’re the heaviest. They can form at almost any height, and this
time we were unlucky enough to meet them at 4,500 ft. Okay, storm behind, we’re now at 6,500 ft,
and you can’t see anything because of white fluff all around. This is where the lowest cumulus clouds form,
and we’re now passing right through them. Best don’t take off your raincoat yet, though:
don’t forget, clouds are made of water, so even these white puffs in the sky are wet
through and through. Ah, finally, we’re out of the clouds and
heading steadily upwards in clear sky. A little bit of respite, and here we are,
approaching one of the highest elevations in the world: Mauna Kea, the tallest volcano
on Earth, located on the big island of Hawaii. It stands at 13,795 ft above sea level — and
this last detail is very important. You see, its real bottom is much deeper, and
if you count its height from the actual foot to the peak, you’ll get the stunning total
of 33,500 ft, making it not only the tallest volcano, but also the tallest mountain in
the world. But right now, we’re counting from the sea
level, so no offense, Mauna Kea, you’re still awesome, just not the King. Ooph, the air is getting chillier and thinner,
do you feel it? The higher we climb, the more difficult it
is to breathe. At this height, though, there’s still enough
air for us, it’s just a bit too fresh for my liking. Anyway, do you see those birds over there? Are they… ducks?! Come on, I thought ducks don’t like such
extreme altitudes! I mean, there are plenty living in the pond
just around the corner from my house! Ah well, the Internet tells me these are mallards,
and they can fly at up to 21,000 ft — this is exactly the altitude we’re at now. Oh, and there’s an Andean condor in the
sky right above the flock. Hunting, I guess. Let’s not spoil the thing for it and fly
further upwards. Clouds again, ugh! Good thing I’ve got my trusty raincoat right
here. These are now the highest-floating clouds,
which only occur at the altitudes from roughly 25,000 ft. From down below, they look like thin white
sheets in the sky, absolutely different from the puffy heaps we crossed a while ago. We’ll meet them at higher elevations too,
because they can form at up to 60,000 ft, but I’ll get to that a bit later. And at the moment, I present you the tall,
mighty, and unbeatable Everest — the tallest peak in the entire world, located in the Himalayas. We’re approaching its pinnacle fast, and
when we’re there, it’ll be 29,029 ft above sea level. There’s not a single thing apart from the
clouds that stands taller than Everest, and hundreds of people try to reach its peak every
year — unfortunately, not always successful. So here we are, floating on our balloon and
saying goodbye to the last piece of ground we’re gonna see for a while. But if you think we’re done with everything
else, you’ll probably be surprised. As we’re rising higher and higher, we’ll
soon be saying hello to… yes, here they come: cranes! Yep, these birds are crazy when it comes to
flying, and climbing up to 33,000 ft is a piece of cake for them. But it’s pretty smart at the same time,
because at such an altitude they can easily avoid eagles, their natural predators. Just imagine climbing all the way up to the
Everest’s peak and seeing a flock of these beauties flying overhead! Well, now we’re entering a dangerous zone…
and we’re unlucky again! Take cover! Phew, near miss. You see, 36,000 ft is the altitude that’s
often called a sweet spot for airplanes. In fact, it’s anywhere from 35,000 ft to
42,000 ft: the air resistance and density is perfect within these limits, so pilots
prefer not to leave them. And we’re better off outta here ASAP — for
the same reasons. Good, we’ve made it without further trouble,
and now there’s really almost nothing else above us. At 60,000 ft, just like I said a bit earlier,
we’re passing through the last bit of clouds, and when we’re out of the white… we’ll
have left the troposphere. Actually, its altitude varies depending on
where you are, the highest layers of it being in the tropics and the lowest in the Polar
Regions. And scientifically speaking, we left it when
we were still at the height of 39,000 ft, so right now we’re in the layer called tropopause. You can feel we’ve entered it because it’s
become a bit warmer. Tropopause is a layer that separates the troposphere
from the stratosphere, and the air here doesn’t become colder with increasing altitude. And finally, we’re out of the tropopause
and into the stratosphere. The sky here is deep blue, and it’s the
highest we can get on our balloon. In fact, we’ve just reached the highest
point at which a human has ever flown on a hot air balloon: in 2005, a man from India
rose to 69,850 ft, setting a world altitude record, and safely returned to the ground
after that. We’re not beating any records now, so this
will be our final destination for today. Just look at the beauty of the world beneath
us! Swirling clouds, blue oceans, and so many
things to wonder at! I hope you’ve enjoyed our little trip. If you learned something new today, then give
the video a like and share it with a friend! And here are some other videos I think you’ll
enjoy. Just click to the left or right, and stay
on the Bright Side of life!

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