Mountain trivia: The highest mountain in the world is not Mount Everest

Many people have known since childhood that the highest mountain on the earth is Mount Everest at 8,848…

Many people have known since childhood that the highest mountain on the earth is Mount Everest at 8,848 meters. This “highest” refers to the highest altitude, which means it is 8848 meters above sea level. But if you count from the foot of the mountain to the top (absolute height of the mountain), the highest mountain in the world is Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii.


Mauna Kea is the largest volcano in Hawaii and one of the five volcanoes that form the island of Hawaii. Its altitude is 4205 meters, but its foot is at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean 5998 meters underwater. The height from the foot of the mountain to the top of the mountain (the height of the entire mountain) measured by experts is 10,203 meters, which is more than the height of Mount Everest. It is more than 1,300 meters higher (Qomolangma was uprooted from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at an altitude of 4-5 kilometers, and the height from the foot of the mountain to the top of the mountain is actually only more than 4,000 meters). The Mauna Kea volcano is in the shape of a huge flat cone. From a high altitude, it looks like a huge shield covering the Pacific Ocean, which is very spectacular.

Mountain trivia: The highest mountain in the world is not Mount Everest
Mountain trivia: The highest mountain in the world is not Mount Everest

According to records, Mauna Kea volcano has erupted 35 times, and there is still a crater on the top of the mountain. Due to past volcanic eruptions, a large number of hot lava erupted and poured out continuously. After the magma cooled, it covered the surface of the mountain, causing the mountain to grow continuously. The large crater of this volcano is called “Mocaviobio” by the locals, which means “Island of Fire”. Its last eruption was in April 1984. The lava flowed for 17 miles towards Hilo, the capital of the Big Island of Hawaii. The volcano is currently dormant. In winter, the mountain top is covered with thick snow. Beautiful. Adjacent to the southeast side of Mauna Kea volcano is Kilauea, the most active volcano in the world, which has not stopped erupting since 1983.

The summit of Mauna Kea volcano is recognized as the best astronomical observation point in the world, with as many as 13 observatories built on it. The summit is above the inversion layer of the atmosphere, so there can be about 300 clear nights here every year; in addition, because the summit is above 40% of the atmosphere and 90% of water vapor, it can be photographed during astronomical observations Extraordinarily clear image of the starry sky; at the same time, it is located at 20 degrees north latitude, which is a low latitude area, so that the sky in the northern and southern hemispheres can be observed to the largest extent. Because it has a wide top surface and gentle slope flanks, this means that it is easy to transport equipment and materials to the top of the mountain by land. The local population density is relatively low, the man-made pollution sources are relatively few, and the natural ecology is well preserved. All these factors make Mauna Kea an ideal place to build an observatory.

On October 30, 2012, NASA announced that the Curiosity rover conducted a mineralogical identification of the collected Martian soil samples. The analysis results showed that some of the soil on Mars and the soil on the side of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii had very good composition. similar. Moreover, the landforms here are also the places on the earth that are closest to the landforms of Mars, attracting many film and television production teams to shoot here. This dormant volcano was once a glacier, and now lives many endangered species. Mauna Kea is also a sacred place in the hearts of Native Hawaiians.

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