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Thijs Zonneveld, a former cyclist, made a joke that a 2,000m high artificial mountain should be created in the Netherlands.

Now, the mass media are reporting that it is being seriously considered:

Example: Agence_France-Presse (AFP)

A 2,000-metre-high mountain in the flatlands of the Netherlands is no longer just a pipe dream, the idea's main supporter, a newspaper columnist, said on Saturday. "The idea is not new but it's the first time that it is taken seriously by so many people," Thijs Zonneveld, a former athlete and writer for free daily De Pers said.

I think the original idea (burying the homes of 370,000 people to build an infeasible large structure, in order to ski and train for cycling) is ludicrous, but it was a joke. Ha ha. I like jokes. No problems.

However, the claim that this idea is being taken seriously is also ludicrous - and yet is being reported as news.

I would like to know if there has been any serious attempt to consider this proposal: e.g. a funded feasibility study or environmental impact study, the forming of a committee in a local government - basically anything more than a bunch of engineers and quantity surveyors drawing doodles and spreadsheets on napkins over a few beers.

Alternatively, have there been any retractions from AFP or evidence that Zonneveld likes to play practical jokes on the media?

I fear this is a bit of a silly question - but if I am right, I don't like it when nonsense like goes unchallenged in newspapers across the world. If I am wrong, this is an amazing story and I want to know.

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Eh, not impressed. The Berg was there first. Logistics didn’t work out. –  Konrad Rudolph Aug 22 '11 at 18:49
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Interesting. Is the manifesto as much gibberish in the original German as it is in English? "Logistics didn't work out." You shock me! :-) It may have been only a tiny fraction of the size, but at least, "Mount Thebarton" was built before it went broke. –  Oddthinking Aug 22 '11 at 18:59
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It appears to be a very faithful translation. :-D –  Konrad Rudolph Aug 22 '11 at 19:05
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@jwenting, here in Australia, it is wintertime, and the newspapers print ludicrous stuff all year around. :-) –  Oddthinking Aug 23 '11 at 12:32
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Bear in mind that our ancestors back in the 17th century emptied [out a lake only slightly larger than modern-day Boston] (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haarlemmermeer) using windmills because they figured it'd make a nice place for an airport in a couple hundred years. More recently, we built up plans for [several hundred miles of storm surge barriers] (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deltawerken) after a flood 60 years ago, then modified them more or less on the fly in order to preserve the fresh/saltwater ecology of the area... –  Shadur Aug 25 '11 at 7:01
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