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Magical place as seen in 'Up' -- Mount Roraima

By Catholic Online
August 3rd, 2010
Catholic Online (

A magical, surrealistic place, Mount Roraima has inspired countless books, TV specials and was prominently featured in Pixar's "Up." Bordered by the three separate countries of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana, these country's border lines intersect on the massive shelf. Mount Raraima is surrounded on all four sides by sheer 400 meter high cliffs. While its cliff walls are only scalable by the most experienced of climbers, there is a hiking path up the mountain's natural ramp-like path -- usually a two-day hike.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Mountain is more than worth a visit for its impressive cliffs. Mount Roraima, part of Venezuela's Canaima National Park, is the site of the highest peak of the country of Guyana's Highland Range. The mountains of this range, including Roraima, are considered to be some of the oldest geological formations known. Some date back to two billion years ago. Daily rains have also created a unique ecosystem which includes several endemic species, including a unique carnivorous pitcher plant, and some of the highest waterfalls in the world.

Culturally, the mountain has long held significance to the indigenous people of the area and features prominently in their myths and folklore. Long before the arrival of European explorers, the mountain has held a special mythic significance for the people of the region.

The Pemon Indians of the Gran Sabana see Roraima as the top of a mighty tree that once held all the fruits and tuberous vegetables in the world. Felled by one of their ancestors, the tree crashed to the ground, unleashing a terrible flood.

In 2006, Mount Roraima was the destination for the award-winning Gryphon Productions two-hour television documentary called The Real Lost World. The program was shown on Animal Planet and Discovery HD Theater.

The travel/adventure documentary featured a modern team of explorers such as Rick West, Dr. Hazel Barton, Seth Heald, Dean Harrison and Peter Sprouse who followed in the footsteps of British explorers Im Thurn and Harry Perkins, who sought the flora and fauna of Roraima in the mid 1800s. The adventures of those explorers may have inspired Arthur Conan Doyle's book about people and dinosaurs, "The Lost World," published in 1912.

In 2009, Mount Roraima served as inspiration for a location in the Disney/Pixar animated movie "Up." The Blu-ray version of the movie disc bonus footage features a short film (called "Adventure Is Out There") about some of the Pixar production team going to Mount Roraima and climbing it for inspiration and ideas for the making of "Up."

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