Forty years ago, a mountain climber from Germany went missing while climbing in the vicinity of the Matterhorn. Precisely what happened to him has been a mystery in the decades that followed — until earlier this month. As The Guardian reports
, two climbers were making their way along the Theodul Glacier, located near the Swiss mountain in question, when they saw something unexpected in a thawing patch of ice.
The climbers’ discovery included human remains as well as some items that one would expect to find on someone making their way through the mountains, including a crampon and a boot. They notified the authorities, who began the process of investigating; eventually, a DNA test confirmed that these remains belonged to the missing climber.
As The Guardian
‘s reporting points out, this discovery is a result of two linked phenomena. Unfortunately, not every climber
who sets out to climb the Matterhorn — or any mountain — makes it back from the process. And with climate change
raising global temperatures, remains that had previously been situated in ice have thawed. This isn’t the first time that long-buried human remains
have been discovered on or near the Matterhorn in recent years.