One of the tribes in my world exists among the mountains of which the tallest is almost 16,000m. A major city for the tribe exists on the mountain at around 8000m. Therefore, what internal - or external - adaptions would the body need to make to live at that height? I have already decided that these people would be taller and thinner people. Also, would that be acceptable for living in those conditions?

  • $\begingroup$ Is your world having the same level of gravity and atmospheric distribution as the Earth, meaning that atmosphere will be as thin as Earth's at the same altitude? If yes, your city would be in glacier level, with no vegetation and permanent snow. I'm not saying that having a real city is impossible there, but you may want to think about logistical problems. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Apr 4, 2017 at 0:44

1 Answer 1


Your people would have adaptations similar to the Sherpa who live at high altitude in Nepal. There are numerous studies of their adaptations, here is a review of the studies and their findings. Some highlights are increased blood flow, more oxygen-carrying capacity in the blood, stronger hearts, and larger chests. A more complete summary is below: Summary of Differences

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you very much, this will be of great help to me. the peoples of the Ithwinda thank you for their stronger hearts and larger chests. $\endgroup$
    – Wingly21
    Apr 3, 2017 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ Sherpas, though being adapted to live at high altitude, do not exactly live at 8000 meters. 16000 meters on earth is deadly (already at 11000 meters hypoxia kills in few seconds). $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Apr 4, 2017 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeKissling being the first and only answer doesn't make it the only viable candidate. Marking any answer as accepted within the first day is usually advised against (for me anyway). I suggest Wingly21 wait and see if there are more answers coming, otherwise there's going to be 'acceptance jumping' from one answer to the next. But hey, that's just my opinion. $\endgroup$
    – Fayth85
    Apr 4, 2017 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch 8000 meters on earth is certainly well into the death zone, no macroscopic life lives at that altitude. That's why I said adaptions similar to the Sherpas, if humanoid life did somehow find itself living at such extremes as the listed by the OP I'd expect them to be super versions of the Sherpa people. $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2017 at 11:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Fayth85 your opinion is noted and it is hubris of me to suggest that my answer is the right one so early on. $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2017 at 11:56

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