In the news recently has been “The UK’s new highest mountain” which is a bit of a non-story. But this led to a puzzle on mountains that we posed on Friday, and below are the answers.
The story is that Mount Hope in the United Kingdom’s part of Antarctica is the new highest mountain in the United Kingdom (measuring 3,239 metres), with the implication that Ben Nevis (a mere 1,345 metres) has been toppled from this position. From this you would infer that all quizzes referring to the United Kingdom’s highest mountain as Ben Nevis are now wrong.
Well, not quite.
You see, there is another mountain in Antarctica, Mount Jackson, which has been known about for quite a while. As this measures 3,184 metres it was already higher than Ben Nevis. What has happened is that Mount Hope has been re-measured and it has overtaken Mount Jackson. But even with its old height, Mounts Hope and Jackson were both considered higher that Ben Nevis.
Furthermore, there is a Mount Paget on South Georgia that is 2,935 metres high.
Now both British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia are British Overseas Territories and these are defined as “places under the sovereignty of the UK which are not part of the UK”. So neither British Antarctic Territory nor South Georgia are in the United Kingdom, and none of Mounts Hope, Jackson or Paget are either.
Now to the questions:
Which is the world’s tallest mountain? Of course Mount Everest is the highest mountain on earth, as highest is measured from mean sea level. However, tallest is measured from bottom to top, and Mauna Kea, an island in Hawaii, is much taller than Mount Everest when measured from the seabed.
Which point on the earth’s surface is farthest from the centre of the earth? This isn’t Mount Everest either. The top of Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador, whilst not as high as Mount Everest, is farther from the centre of the earth. It is one degree south of the equator and the bulge in the earth does the rest.