Is Everest an Imposter?
Another challenger to Everest to be considered as the “highest” mountain on Earth is Mount Chimborazo of Ecuador.
Okay, Everest reaches 8,848m (29,029feet) above sea level and there at least 15 (16? Did I count them all?) mountains higher than the 6,268m (20,564 ft) Chimborazo stratovolcano, including another in the Andes. But…
Mount Chimborazo is located a mere ~1.5° south of the equator. The Earth, as we should all remember, is an oblate spheroid bulging around the equator. The distance from the center to the earth to the poles is 22km less than that to the equator. This means that the peak of Mount Chimborazo, sitting nearly atop the equator, is ~2,168 m (7,113 ft) further from the earth’s center than Everest, located 28°N. By this criteria, Chimborazo is the highest point on the Earth!
I’m not sure this factoid will ever come in handy on Jeopardy, but it might win a bar bet.
Image credit: Magnus von Koeller.
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