Something I did not know

31 01 2009

Mount Everest (pictured) is, indisputably, the highest point of land above sea level (8,850 meters / 29,035 feet) which, according to traditional measurements, means that it is the tallest mountain in the world. Given certain definitions, however, this can be challenged.[75] One alternative method of measurement is the base-summit height. When this is applied, Mauna Kea (a dormant volcano in Hawaii) turns out to be much higher at 10,314 meters (33,480 feet). This takes into account Mauna Kea’s base on the ocean floor, some 6000 meters below sea level. Its height above sea level is only 4,208 meters (13,796 feet). If the base-summit height is measured from land only, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, meaning it does not belong to a mountain range or chain, measured from its base (at ground level) to the summit at 5,896 meters (19,344 feet). Another alternative method is to work out the furthest point of land as measured from the centre of the earth. Chimborazo, a volcano in Ecuador, takes this honor, because the Earth bulges at the equator.[76] This peak is 2,100 meters further away from the centre of the Earth than the top of Everest is.

This entry comes from a page on Wikipedia called “List of common misconceptions” which is a fascinating read.

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