Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain at just over 29,000 feet above sea level. As the air gets thinner and the heavens loom ever closer, things can start to get strange. This great peak's treacherous slopes have definitely hosted their fair share of oddities over the years. Here are just a few of them.

Rainbow Valley, a multi-colored open graveyard in the clouds

Everest has racked up a hefty body count over the last century – well over 200, according to the BBC, and most of those bodies are actually still there. After about 26,000 feet, you enter 'Death Zone,’ the final stretch below the summit where the oxygen levels become too low to support human life, and where the mountain claims most of its victims. So why ‘Rainbow Valley’? It's because of the brightly coloured down jackets and climbing equipment still attached to the cadavers that litter its surface. Rainbow Valley is a haunting stretch on the northern side of the mountain, residing comfortably in the Death Zone.

Tons and tons of garbage

No one knows exactly how much garbage is on Mount Everest. But with around 16 tons having been removed so far, according to the BBC, and much more remaining, scientifically speaking it's safe to say that it's a few metric buttloads. This includes discarded tents, broken equipment, eating utensils, cans, wrappers, empty oxygen bottles – you name it. Nothing you wouldn't find strewn about the place after a couple of days at Burning Man, but at the top of the world it's a lot harder to make sure everything gets cleaned up eventually.

A colorful fascinating diary

A very peculiar English man, Maurice Wilson, had a very peculiar plan in 1934 to ascend Mount Everest with little climbing experience, rubbish equipment, and a whole lot of faith. He was quite a character, and people know everything about his attempt and his various eccentricities because his diary was found along with his body a year later.

Wilson had wanted to ascend most of the way in a second-hand bi-plane, despite not knowing how to fly. An optimist right up to the bitter end, his final diary entry was "Off again. Gorgeous day".

The body of an Everest legend

Some believe that Mallory and Irvine were the first to conquer Everest in 1924, 29 years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's famous 1953 expedition. And there's little doubt that Irvine and Mallory at least came very close. In a letter to his wife written six weeks prior to the climb (via the New York Times), Mallory was convinced that it was going to happen, writing "It is almost unthinkable… that I shan't get to the top; I can't see myself coming down defeated." It's entirely possible that they did indeed reach the summit before dying during their descent.

Irvine's body remains missing, but Mallory's was discovered at almost 28,000 feet in 1999, 75 years after their attempt.