The Mountain Environment

by Mandy Barrow

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The Highest and Tallest Mountains

How are mountains measured?

Mountains are generally measured from sea level, however there are infact three ways a mountain can be measured:

  1. From sea level to peak
  2. From base to peak
  3. From the distance from the center of the earth to the peak of the mountain.

iconThe Worlds Tallest Mountain

iconThe Eight-Thousanders
Mountains taller than 8,000 metres

iconThe highest mountains on each continent
The Seven Summits

iconWeb Links to further information


My Everesticon The World's Tallest Mountain

As mountains are generally measured from sea level, Mount Everest 29,035 ft (8,850m) is considered to be king. However, there is a difference between the highest and tallest.

What is the difference between highest and tallest?

The peak of the highest mountain is the furthest away from sea level.

The peak of the tallest mountain is the furthest away from the base of the mountain.

What is the highest mountain in the world?

At 29,035 ft (8,850m), Everest is the highest mountain in the world. Everest is 29,035 feet above sea level.

What is the tallest mountain in the world?

Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain on Earth. Measured from top to its base below sea level, Mauna Kea beats Everest by 4,436 ft. (over 3/4 of a mile).

Did you know?

Although Mount Everest, at 29,035 ft (8,850m) tall, is often called the tallest mountain; Mauna Kea, an inactive volcano on the island of Hawaii, is actually taller. Only 13,796 feet of Mauna Kea stands above sea level, however, if you measure it from its base, which is below sea level, it is 33,465 feet. If you stand Mauna Kea and Mount Everest next to each other, Mount Kea would be 4,436 feet taller!

Mount Everest is stll growing!
Mount Everest (all all the other mountains in Himalayas) are still growing higher, at a rate of about 2.4 in/6.1cm per year, as the Indian Tectonic Plate slides north under the Eurasian Plate. That means in the last 26,000 years the Himalayans have risen almost a mile!

icon Over 8,000 metres tall

The eight-thousanders are the fourteen mountains on Earth that are higher than 8,000 metres (26,427 feet) measured from sea level. They are all located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia.

Mountain Peak
Everest Himalayas Nepal, Asia 29,035 8,850
(Godwin Austen)
Karakoram Pakistan, Asia 28,253 8,612
Kanchenjunga Himalayas Nepal, Asia 28,169 8,586
Lhotse I Himalayas Nepal, Asia 27,920 8,501
Makalu I Himalayas Nepal, Asia 27,765 8,462
Cho Oyu Himalayas Nepal, Asia 26,906 8,201
Dhaulagiri Himalayas Nepal, Asia 26,794 8,167
Manaslu Himalayas Nepal, Asia 26,758 8,156
Nanga Parbat Himalayas Pakistan, Asia 26,658 8,125
Annapurna Himalayas Nepal, Asia 26,545 8,091
Gasherbrum I Karakoram Pakistan, Asia 26,470 8,068
Broad Peak Karakoram Pakistan, Asia 26,400 8,047
Gasherbrum II Karakoram Pakistan, Asia 26,360 8,035

Shisha Pangma

Himalayas Tibet, Asia 26,289 8,013

iconThe highest mountains on each continent
(the Seven Summits):

Mountain Peak
Mount Everest Asia 8,850 m
Aconcagua South America 6,959 m
Mount McKinley (Denali) North America 6,194 m
Kilimanjaro Africa 5,895 m
Mount Elbrus Europe 5,642 m
Vinson Massif Antarctica 4,897 m

Carstensz Pyramid

Mount Kosciuszko
(The highest point
on the Australian landmass )

Australia - Oceania

4,884 m

2,228 m

Mont Blanc is is the highest and hugest summit in the Alps.


Find your favourite mountain!
Africa | Antarctica | Asia | Australia | Europe | North America | South America

Mount Everest
The highest mountain in the world when measuring from sea level.


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