First though, let's clear the elephant jokes out of the way:
Q. What's the difference between an elephant and a grape?
A. One's grey and the other is green.
Q. What did Hannibal say when he saw the elephants coming over the Alps?
A. Here come the grapes [he was colour-blind].
Eeee how we larfed when we were 8.
Found Soup. Back 2234 years ago, Hannibal and his army had a cold coming of it, famously having to break through a recent rock-fall laying on top of an earlier rock-fall which was impassable for men and horses. let alone the elephants. They cracked the immovable rocks using fire and vinegar. JMW Turner captured their trials, with a liberal dose of pathetic fallacy, in his 1812 painting [L. Snow Storm: Hannibal And His Army Crossing The Alps] Back in the 1950s Gavin de Beer, a well regarded embryologist, pointed out how the Col de la Traversette matched the ancient descriptions much better than alternative paths which modern engineers had used for laying down tarmacadam.
This idea was seized on by Bill Mahaney, a polymathic scientist for hire, and he went trekking along the pass until he'd convinced himself that he agreed with de Beer. It's the rock-falls, stupid; none of the other options match Polybius's, and other early documenter's, descriptions of the terrain. Most recently,