Facts about Mountains

18 Mountains facts

They are found on all continents

Some mountains are only a few million years old, while the age of others is measured in billions. The oldest ones hide information about the origin of life on Earth. But mountains are not unique to our planet.

Many may think that the mountains are not a hospitable place for humans. The higher you go, the colder it gets and the air gets thinner, but many people live in such an environment. The highest human settlements are over 4,000 meters above sea level.
What else do we know about these majestic geological structures?

Here are some of the most interesting and mind-blowing facts about mountains!

There are many mountain definitions, most common is an elevated area, protruding at least 300 meters over the surrounding area.
In Europe, mountainous areas are considered being elevated over 500 meters above sea level.
There are three ways for mountains to form.
Those are erosion, tectonic forces or volcanism. There are also three main types of mountains: fault-block, fold and volcanic.
Process of mountain building is called orogeny.
The term originates from Ancient Greek where óros meant “mountain” and génesis meant “creation”.
The most common type of mountain in the world are fold mountains.
They are formed by folding layers of upmost part of the Earth’s crust. They usually form where two tectonic plates move towards each other.
The Himalayas are the youngest fold mountains on Earth.

About 50 million years ago, the process of uplifting the Himalayas began. The Indian plate pushed against the Eurasian plate, causing the uplift of rock masses at their junction.

It is estimated that the escalation of this process occurred about 20 million years ago.

Eight-thousanders are the highest peaks on earth that are over 8,000 meters above sea level.
There are only fourteen such peaks on Earth and ten of them are located in the Himalayas.
Fault-block mountains are formed as a result of stresses in the earth’s crust caused by tectonic forces that lead to the fracturing and movement of rock masses along fracture lines.

Those lines are called faults.

Most known mountains of this type are Sierra Nevada in California, the Tetons in Wyoming and Harz in Germany.

Mountains account for about 24% of the land area on earth.
Most mountainous continent is Eurasia (33%). Second place goes to North America with 24% of the area covered by mountains. In the third place is South America (19%), followed by Africa (14%). Only 6% of Australia is mountainous.
There are over 720 million people living in the hills and mountains.
They are called mountain people and make up about 12% of Earth’s population.
The highest located city in the world is El Alto in Bolivia.
Its average height is 4150 meters above the mean sea level. El Alto is one of the fastest-growing cities in Bolivia with over 940 thousand citizens.
The highest mountains of each traditional (not geological) continent are called Seven Summits.
There are several versions of which summits account, but we can consider Mount Everest (Asia), Aconcagua (South America), Denali (North America), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Mount Kosciuszko (Australia).
The highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in Himalayas on the China-Nepal border.
Mount Everest is 8,848 meters high. The border between China and Nepal runs through its summit point.
Puncak Jaya is the highest peak on an island.
It is situated on the island of New Guinea and measures 4884 meters high.
The highest volcanic cone in the world is Ojos del Salado.

It is a dormant volcano in the Andes on the Argentina-Chile border.

The volcano is 6893 meters high and is listed on Volcanic Seven Summits. Last eruption of this giant occurred about 1270 years ago.

Andes are the longest continental mountain range.

They are situated in South America and span over 8,900 kilometers (5530 miles) through seven countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

Andean Mountains are also the highest mountain range outside Asia.

There are mountains under the ocean's surface as well.
Longest mountain range on Earth is called Mid-ocean ridge and has about 65,000 km (40,000 mi) length.
Mountains are not only found on Earth.
They are common features of most planets and moons. Some of them outshine the Earth’s highest peaks in size.
The highest mountain in the Solar system is Olympus Mons.
The peak towers over the surface of Mars and its height is more than 21.9 kilometers. It is a mountain of volcanic origin, whose activity has not yet ceased.
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