The world's tallest mountain technically is not Mount Everest.
Mount Everest is often thought of as the tallest mountain in the world, but that title actually belongs to Mauna Kea. When measured from base to peak, Mauna Kea is about 33,500 feet tall, while Mount Everest is only about 29,035 feet tall. However, Mount Everest is taller than Mauna Kea when measured from sea level, because Mauna Kea is located on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.The secret of Everest’s height is not found at the summit but deep underground. Because of how it was formed it sits on higher ground.
Fifty million years ago, India’s continental plate crashed into Asia – the biggest collision on Earth in the last 400 million years. The collision was so violent that India’s plate did not just crumple, it pushed under Asia – raising the land mass high into the sky.
That puts the total height of Mauna Kea at about 33,500 feet — nearly a mile taller than Everest.
Mauna Kea is actually an inactive volcano on the big island of Hawaii. It is about a million years old, created when the Pacific tectonic plate moved over the Hawaiian hotspot — a plume of liquid magma from deep inside Earth. It last erupted about 4,600 years ago.
- Altitude above sea level: 8,848 meters (29,031 feet)
- Base-to-peak height: 33,500 meters (10,994 feet)
- Location: Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas, between Nepal and China
- Age: 60 million years old
- Volcanic activity: Dormant
- Slope: Steep, with an average grade of 35 degrees
- Climbing difficulty: Very difficult, with high altitude and technical climbing required
- Formed by the collision of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates
- Considered the tallest mountain above sea level
- Altitude above sea level: 13,796 ft (4,207 m)
- Altitude from base to summit: 10,203 ft (3,110 m)
- Location: Big Island of Hawaii, United States
- Type: Shield volcano
- Last eruption: 4,600 years ago
- Formed by a hotspot under the Hawaiian Islands
- Considered the tallest mountain from base to summit