Ever since Sir Edmund Hillary reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, thousands of climbers are eager to repeat his feat. Due to the fact that Everest has an impressive title " is the highest mountain in the world ", it was visited by so many people that every year this Himalayan beauty gradually turns into a literal word garbage dump.
Closer than all mountains to the stars
When we talk about the highest mountain of the world, we usually think about the altitude above sea level. And if you take this parameter, then the height of the highest mountain( 8849 meters above sea level) is beyond competition. Everest extends higher into the atmosphere than any other peak in the world.
However, the farthest point from the center of the Earth, and therefore the highest in terms of distance is Chimborazo( 6384 meters above sea level).It is a stratovolcano in Ecuador, which is part of the Andean mountain chain.
The earth is not flat, it protrudes at the equator and is smoothed near the poles. This means that the mountains near the equator are technically higher than in other areas of the planet. And so it turned out that Chimborazo is closer to the convex center of the Earth than Everest. It turns out that it is closer to the stars than the highest point of Mount Everest.
The heaviest mountain for climbers
According to one of the reports, Everest extends to a distance of 6,382 meters from the center of the Earth. At the same time, Chimborazo extends to a distance of 6,384 meters. Although the difference in altitude between the two mountains is only 2 km, this is enough to transfer the title "the highest mountain" to the Ecuadorian stratovolcano.
So why does Mount Everest continue to receive all the laurels, while Chimborazo remains relatively undetected? It all boils down to the difficulties of climbing.
If you are a climber and want to test yourself by conquering Everest, then the route to the base camp will take 10 days. Another six weeks will be required to acclimatize, and then nine days will climb to the top. On the other hand, acclimatization to Chimborazo takes about two weeks, and the way to the top is about two days. Simply put, after Everest, the ascent to Chimborazo seems like a walk in the park.
Above and below sea level
Mount Everest is the highest mountain above sea level, but if we are talking about the apparent height from the bottom to the top, then the honor to be called the highest mountain belongs to the White Mountain( Mauna Kea) on the island of Hawaii. Its height above sea level is 4205 meters, but the mountain leaves at 5,998 meters down to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. More than half of the mountain is submerged in water.
The total height of Mauna Kea is 10 203 meters. This is 1345 meters higher than the height of Mount Everest.
Mauna Kea is actually an extinct volcano on the large island of Hawaii. It arose about a million years ago, when the tectonic plate of the Pacific moved above the plume of liquid magma deep inside the Earth. The last time Mauna Kea erupted about 4 600 years ago.
The top of the mountain is a paradise for astronomers: It has low humidity, above it a clear sky, and a long distance from any light pollution. That is, from the top of the volcano opens, perhaps, a better view of the celestial objects. Now at the peak of Mauna Kea there are 13 telescopes.
It is important to note once again that the Everest is the highest of the highest mountains, if measured from sea level. If you use this parameter, Chimborazo can not even count on the title "the highest peak in the Andes".This title belongs to Mount Aconcagua, which rises to 6961 meters above sea level.
The highest mountains on every continent
- In Asia, Mount Everest( 8,849 meters).
- In South America - Mount Aconcagua( 6,961 meters).
- In North America - Mount McKinley( 6 190 meters).
- In Africa - Mount Kilimanjaro( 5,895 meters).
- In Europe - Mount Elbrus( 5 642 meters)
- In Antarctica - the Vinson Massif( 4,897 meters).
In Australia - Oceania - Punchak-Jaya Mountain( 4,884 meters) in Oceania and Mount Kosciusko - the highest point on the Australian continent( 2,228 meters).