Which moun­tain is the high­est in the world? It depends on how you mea­sure them. There are two moun­tains that claim to be the high­est in the world. The sum­mit of Mount Ever­est is high­er above sea lev­el than the sum­mit of any oth­er moun­tain, but Mau­na Kea is the high­est when mea­sured from base to sum­mit. Mau­na Kea, a dor­mant vol­cano in Hawaii, is the world’s tallest moun­tain mea­sured from its base, deep in the Pacif­ic Ocean, to its sum­mit. The dis­cus­sion of height rests on the fact that most of Mau­na Kea in Hawaii is under water, and there­fore mea­sur­ing from the afore­men­tioned sea lev­el does not do jus­tice to the sheer size.

mauna kea

Entry relat­ed to loca­tion: USA

The sum­mit of Mau­na Kea is 4,205 meters above sea lev­el, but it extends approx­i­mate­ly 6,000 meters below the sur­face of the water. There­fore, the total height is 10,210 meters, which is almost one and a half kilo­me­ters more than Mount Ever­est, accord­ing to the Unit­ed States Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey (USGS). Thus, it falls into the list of the high­est moun­tains in the world.
mauna kea
In Hawai­ian, Mau­na Kea means “White Moun­tain” and its snowy peak attracts skiers and snow­board­ers. Its low­er slopes are pop­u­lar areas for hunt­ing, hik­ing, sight­see­ing and bird watch­ing.

The loca­tion near the equa­tor makes Mau­na Kea an excel­lent astro­nom­i­cal obser­va­tion site. Low humid­i­ty and clear skies make weath­er con­di­tions near the top of the vol­cano almost ide­al for many of the world’s lead­ing space obser­va­to­ries. The moun­tain’s dis­tance from city lights and the island’s stark illu­mi­na­tion also help pro­vide the atmos­pher­ic clar­i­ty that tele­scopes require.

Mau­na Kea is cur­rent­ly home to 13 tele­scopes, includ­ing the NASA Infrared Tele­scopes, Cal­tech Obser­va­to­ry and Japan’s Sub­aru Tele­scope, as well as the Keck Inter­fer­om­e­ter Tele­scope, the largest tele­scope with a sin­gle mir­ror in the world. The Mau­na Kea Cen­ter web­cams allow online view­ers to wit­ness these stel­lar obser­va­to­ries in action.

The sum­mit of Mau­na Kea holds anoth­er record. In addi­tion to being the top of the high­est moun­tain in the world, it is also home to the largest astro­nom­i­cal obser­va­to­ry in the world. This obser­va­to­ry is locat­ed above 40% of the Earth­’s atmos­phere. The atmos­phere at the top of the moun­tain is extreme­ly dry and almost free of clouds. This makes it an ide­al loca­tion for an obser­va­to­ry. This is one of the few places where you can see snow in the Hawai­ian area — the height is high enough and cold enough to accu­mu­late snow.

In Hawai­ian mythol­o­gy, the peaks of the island of Hawaii are sacred, and Mau­na Kea is one of the most sacred. An ancient law allowed only high-rank­ing trib­al lead­ers to vis­it this peak. The ancient Hawai­ians liv­ing on the slopes of Mau­na Kea relied on its exten­sive forests for food and quar­ried the basalt from its slopes to make tools. In recent years, con­cerns about the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of the native species have led to court cas­es that have forced the Depart­ment of Land and Nat­ur­al Resources to erad­i­cate all wild species on the moun­tain.

See also
The most beautiful castles in France