Updated: 07/17/2014 6:33 PM
Created: 07/17/2014 4:16 PM KSTP.com
By: Josh Rosenthal
At 81-years-old, Akhouri Sinha is still making discoveries. Some are small, but at least one is more than 3,000 feet high.
"It is beyond my imagination that this could have happened for an immigrant scientist from India," said Sinha, who is both a Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Research Scientist and a University of Minnesota Professor.
The story starts back in 1972, five years after Sinha moved to Minnesota. He was chosen to be part of the first team ever to survey seals, whales and birds in Antarctica. The research was so groundbreaking, the U.S. Geological Survey honored four team members, and three of them, including Sinha, had mountains named after them.
"The group leader got a bluff. He was good at playing poker," Sinha laughed.
There was just one problem; no one ever bothered to tell Sinha about his mountain. In fact, he just found out about it when his team leader, Albert Erickson, died.
“When he died, I thought I should write a few words…what I knew about him. So I went, and this is what I found out," Sinha explained.
You could say he moved mountains just to get to Minnesota. More than 40 years later, he never left the state, but he did leave his mark on the other side of the globe.
"It is unparalleled recognition," he said proudly. "There is nothing you can do. That mountain will live forever."
Sinha said his only regret is not finding out about the mountain sooner, because he would have loved it if his parents and his wife's parents knew about it.