Mount Everest’s height is now officially 8,848.86 meters (29,031.69 feet) above sea level. Although this seems unusual it isn’t extraordinary. A mountain’s height can change frequently due to the movement of tectonic plates which lifts it gradually and earthquakes that can bring it down swiftly.
Dang Yamin, a member of a Chinese team that surveyed Everest’s height earlier this year, stated that the countervailing forces may help maintain a degree of stability over time. “Nature tends to strike a balance,” he told the official Xinhua News Agency. Dang also cited, as an example, the massive 1934 earthquake that wiped out 150 years of steady height increase in a few moments.
The world’s highest mountain spans the border of China and Nepal, enforcing them to present a new official height of the mountain together. The subject, however, isn’t settled for good. There are lots of factors for determining the height of a mountain like geological changes, methods, and varying criteria for scaling the world’s highest peak which further complicates the process.
There are various ways to measure a mountain; a Nepalese team in 2019, set up a satellite navigation marker on Everest’s peak to gauge its exact position via GPS satellites with modern, laser-equipped versions of instruments called theodolites to a Chinese team this spring, undertaking a similar mission with the Chinese-made Beidou constellation of navigation satellites, along with other types of equipment.
Standing a little taller than Everest is Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo which is the world’s highest mountain, and more than 2,072 meters (6,800 feet) above Everest, as measured from the Earth’s core. This is because mountains along the equator are farther from the core, as the Earth bulges in the middle. Mount Mauna Kea in Hawaii is the tallest of them all, measuring 10,211 meters (33,500 feet) from the foot of the mountain to the peak. However, most of it is under the sea level.