When we talk about highest mountain in the world we usually think of the mountain Everest. There are different ways to measure the height of a mountain and a team of surveyors decided to measure the height of all the summits of the himalayan mountain range. They became interested in a mountain that surpassed all others. It was the top XV.
This article is going to tell you everything you need to know about the highest mountain in the world and we are going to discover if Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
Highest mountain in the world
When India was a British colony, a team of surveyors began to measure the height of all the peaks of the Himalayas. They calculated the altitude at 9.000 meters above sea level of Summit XV. This made it the highest mountain in the world. In 1865 they changed the name of this cousin to Everest. This name comes from George Everest, a Welsh expert who was in charge of measuring almost the entire topography of India. Since that year, a large number of climbers have tried to conquer its peak to show the world that they have set foot on the highest mountain in the world.
We know stories of all kinds in which there has not been a good ending. And it is that reaching these heights by our own foot carries great risks. From a certain altitude, the environmental conditions are not conducive for humans to stay for long. Pressure decreases in height as does temperature. With less vegetation, less pressure and less oxygen, staying at heights is complicated. To this we add the difficulty of the level of steepness that the mountain has as we increase in altitude.
All these reasons are the perfect mix for the large number of accidents that have existed throughout history of those who have tried to climb the highest mountain in the world.
Ways to measure a mountain
If we measure Everest from sea level, we see that it is the highest mountain in the world. However, there are other mountains higher than this one as long as we use another parameter to calculate its height. We know that any measurement method is subject to the observer's point of view. Another aspect to take into account in any measurement method is the reference point that we are choosing.
If we use the reference from the base on which these mountains are based, we see that the Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the Mauna Kea volcano and Hawaii are higher than Everest. As you can see, depending on the reference point that we are using to measure the length we can see that the highest mountain in the world is not. It would be more logical to approach the reference point from the base on which a mountain sits rather than taking the altitude above sea level as the reference point.
Mount Kilimanjaro sits on the African plains that are close to sea level. If we measure this mountain from the base we see that it is higher than Everest. On the other hand, if we analyze Mauna Kea we see that it is even higher. And it is that it has its base at the bottom of the sea. Being a volcano, we see that the base was much deeper above sea level. As long as we analyze the altitude from the base where the mount sits, the highest would be Mauna Kea.
Formation of the highest mountain in the world
If we take sea level as a reference point, Everest is the highest mountain in the world. And it is that, the secret of the height of the Everest is not in its summit if not underground. The way this mountain was formed was the way it was able to settle on such a high place. 50 million years ago the continental plate of India collided with the Asian continent. Since all of Earth's history, it has been the largest collision in the last 400 million years. Such a collision was so violent that the Indian plate not only crumpled, but also slipped under the Asian continent. In this way, this plate, which is a crossing over the continent, raised the land mass into the sky, forming Everest.
Although tectonic plates collide around the world, what happened under Everest was unique. For this reason, this mountain is the only highest mountain in the world when it is lost from sea level.
The Himalayan mountain range is quite young at only 50 million years old. As the plates are pushing the Indian plate north and under Asia, the Himalayan mountains continue to rise. Currently, the forces pushing upward are greater than the effect of erosion. As we know, erosion caused by water and wind, among other geological agents begins to reduce the altitude of peaks to be exposed to them. One of the ways to measure the age of a mountain is to see the degree of illusion and deterioration suffered by its summits.
Most climbers who climb to the top of Everest do so to proudly show that they are capable of climbing the highest mountain in the world. However, this mountain continues to grow today. The lower parts of the mountain are made of granite, one of the strongest rocks in the world. Thanks to this composition, they allow it to withstand erosion much better than other mountains that are less hard.
After the last earthquake in Nepal, all the mountains north of Kathmandu they rose about a meter. Therefore, Everest may have descended a bit. This bit is totally negligible at the total altitude. The rate of erosion is at some point or to the growth caused by the push of the plates. Although there are still millions of years to go, Everest will lose the title of the highest mountain in the world.