The global landscape is truly fascinating! There are some unbelievable highs and stunning lows to be seen all around. Of course, some of our most spectacular landscape features are mountains – and these can be found all over the world, from Wales to China. How many mountains have you conquered already? Regardless of your own prowess or experience as a mountaineer, we’ve lined up a few interesting facts about mountains and peaks which might just surprise you. Read on for more!
How do you measure a mountain? While many will base at ground level, plenty actually base below the water. That’s why, in many cases, people measure mountains and peaks from water level upwards. It’s seen as the fairest way to compare peaks.
Mountains are hugely important sources of water. In fact, up to 80% of the fresh water we drink comes from the peaks. Therefore, we have a lot to thank them for!
The 14 tallest mountains on the planet are found in Asia, specifically in the Himalayas range.
Mountains are formed through forceful movements in plate tectonics. This means that pieces of the Earth’s crust smash against each other to create huge peaks of land. Mountain creation can take centuries.
In fact, it’s thought that earthquakesmay actually fell mountains, too. For example, it is thought that Mount Everest may have actually been a lot taller were it not for seismic activity.
While Mount Everest holds the record for being the largest peak on land, the tallest peak top to bottom can be found out at sea. This record belongs to Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano that measures more than 33,400 feet from base to peak. Its home is in Hawaii.
Believe it or not, around a fifth of all land on planet Earth is thought to be mountainous. That’s why you’ll find peaks and valleys as far spread as Scotland, France, Russia, China, South Africa and beyond. If there’s one thing most territories have in common across the globe, it’s the presence of mountains.
As well as covering much of the Earth’s surface, mountains are said to be home to up to 10% of the world’s population.
There are plenty of mountain ranges across the world, too. A range is a long link of mountains which cluster together. For example, one of the most famous mountain ranges around the world is the Rocky Mountain trail. On the whole, mountain ranges and trails stretch for more than 1,000 miles.
There are mountains in space, too! In fact, you won’t have to look too far, as there’s a mighty peak up on the Moon. The biggest mountain here is Mons Huygens. This mountain is thought to be around 15,000 feet tall and is one of many mountains on the Moon’s surface discovered by Galileo.
Mountains have a huge impact on the weather around us and can even affect how and where storms may travel. Therefore, a mountain range may act as a brilliant weather shield or refuge in some climates.
The tallest mountain in existence isn’t even on Earth – curiously, it’s on Mars. The mountain in question is Olympus Mons, and it’s said to be three times the size of Mount Everest. Its upper crater is around 45 miles in width, and it’s two miles in depth. That’s enough to cover and engulf some countries!
Venus, too, has mountains – and they are snow-capped in metal. Strange but true!
The mountain said to be the furthest distance away from the Earth’s centre is Mount Chimborazo, which you will find out in Ecuador.
As well as there being scores and scores of mountainous regions above the water, researchers believe that we are yet to see up to 100,000 mountains beneath the waves – as much of life and landscaping beneath the surface is to be accounted for.
Mountain classifications vary, but most agree that if a land mass is around 1,000 feet or more above its base area, it’s a mountain. It doesn’t even have to have a pointy peak!
Do you have any interesting facts about mountains that we’ve not covered? Share them here in the comments section below!