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Facts about Mountains for Kids

  • A mountain is a large landform that stretches above the surrounding land in a limited area usually in the form of a peak.
  • Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers.
  • The highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 29,029 ft above mean sea level.
  • The highest known mountain in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on the planet Mars at 69,459 ft.
  • Elevation, volume, relief, steepness, spacing and continuity have been used as criteria for defining a mountain.
  • The highest point in San Francisco, California, is called Mount Davidson, notwithstanding its height of 980 ft, which makes it ten feet short of the minimum for a mountain by American designations.
  • Mountains are generally colder than their surrounding lowlands due to the way that the sun heats the surface of the Earth.
  • Practically all the heat at the surface of the Earth comes from the sun, in the form of solar energy.
  • The sun’s radiation is absorbed by land and sea, whence the heat is transferred into the air.
  • Static air is a poor conductor of heat, so conduction of heat from the ground to the atmosphere is negligible.
  • The higher the altitude, the less of this blanket there is to keep in the heat.
  • Air temperature in the troposphere decreases with gains in altitude.
  • Mountains are generally less preferable for human habitation than lowlands; the weather is often harsher, and there is little level ground suitable for agriculture.
  • Many mountains and mountain ranges throughout the world have been left in their natural state, and are today primarily used for recreation, while others are used for logging, mining, grazing, or see little use.
  • Some mountains offer spectacular views from their summits, while others are densely wooded.
  • Mountains are made up of earth and rock materials.
  • When two plates move or collide with each other, vast land areas are uplifted, forming mountains.
  • The height of the feature makes it either a hill or, if higher and steeper, a mountain.
  • Two types of mountain are formed in this way depending on how the rockreacts to the tectonic forces, — fold mountains or fault-block mountains.
  • Compressional forces in continental collisions may cause the compressed region to thicken and fold, with material forced both upwards and downwards.
  • Since the less dense continental crust “floats” (cf iceberg) on the denser mantle rocks beneath, the weight of any crustal material forced upward to form hills, plateaus or mountains must be balanced by the buoyancy force of a much greater volume forced downward into the mantle.
  • Some isolated mountains are produced by volcanoes, including many apparently small islands or seamounts that reach a great height above the ocean floor.

20 Tallest Mountains in the World

Mount Everest (Nepal/ Tibet)
K2 (Pakistan)
Kanhchenjunga (Nepal/ India)
Lhotse (Nepal)
Makalu (Nepal/ Tibet)
Cho Oyu (Nepal/ Tibet)
Dhaulagiri (Nepal)
Manaslu (Nepal)
Nanga Parbat (Pakistan)
Annapurna (Nepal)
Gasherbrum I (Pakistan)
Broad Peak (Pakistan)
Gasherbrum II (Pakistan)
Xixabangma Feng (China/ Nepal)
Distaghil Sar (Pakistan)
Kunyang Chhist (Pakistan)
Masherbrum (Pakistan)
Nanda Devi (India)
Aling Kangri (Tibet)
Rakaposhi (Pakistan)