Beautiful snow-capped mountains

Tallest Mountain in the World - Wait! The Answer Isn't So Obvious

While Mount Everest, with a height of 8,848 meters above MSL, is widely considered the tallest mountain in the world, there exist other standards to measure the height of mountains, each of which puts forth a different name.
The diversity in the geographical features of the planet is quite amazing. On one hand, we have the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean―the deepest point on the planet with a depth of 11,033 meters, and on the other, there is Mount Everest―the tallest natural structure in the world with a height of 8,848 meters.

Mount Everest is indeed the tallest mountain in the world, but only when measured from the mean sea level (MSL). Other than measuring their height from the MSL, there exist two more methods by which we can measure the height of geological structures on the planet ...
  • Measuring from the ocean floor.
  • Measuring from the center of the Earth.
If measured from the bottom of the ocean, the credit of being the tallest goes to Mauna Kea―a volcanic crater in Hawaii. On the other hand, if measured from the center of the Earth, the credit goes to Chimborazo in the Andes.

Mount Everest: Tallest from the Mean Sea Level

Located in the Himalayan mountain range in Asia, Mount Everest is 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) tall. It was named 'Mount Everest' by the Royal Geographic Society in 1865. The height of this gigantic structure was first established in 1856―then known as Peak XV―as 29,002 feet by the Great Trigonometric Survey of India. However, further research proved that its height is actually 29,029 feet. This was measured by the Indian authorities in 1955 and confirmed by the Chinese authorities in 1975.

The second tallest mountain happens to be the K2, with a height of 8,611 meters above MSL, while the third tallest is the Kanchenjunga, with a height of 8,586 meters above MSL.

Mauna Kea: Tallest from the Ocean Floor

Mauna Kea―a volcanic crater in Hawaii―is 252 meters taller than Mount Everest. If measured from its base, which is at the bottom of the ocean, the height of Mauna Kea is 9,100 meters. If measured from the MSL though, this volcanic crater is only 4,207 meters in height. Approximately, half of the mountain is below the sea level and hence, even though it is taller than Mount Everest, it is does not qualify to be the tallest technically.

Chimborazo: Tallest from the Center of the Earth

Another method by which the height of any geographic structure on the planet can be measured, is by measuring it from the center of the Earth. By this criterion, the crown should go to Chimborazo―an inactive stratovolcano in Ecuador. When measured from the MSL, the height of this volcano is just 6,310 meters, but when it is measured from the center of the planet, it is a whopping 3966.83 miles, i.e., 6,384,400 meters, tall. Chimborazo achieves this distinction only because of the oblate spheroid shape of the Earth. Its height also makes it the farthest point from the center of the Earth, but again, technically it is not the tallest.

Like we said earlier, there are some technical norms set to determine the tallest mountain on the planet, and going by these norms Mauna Kea and Chimborazo don't stand a chance against Mount Everest.
Top of Mount Everest
Mauna Kea Crater
Chimborazo Mountain