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The highest/ tallest mountain

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12699.  Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:03 pm Reply with quote

If you are asked, " What is the tallest mountain called?" I bet many of you ould say, "Mount Everest."

But it isn't...

The tallest mountain is, in actual fact, Mauna Loa.

The reason Everest is so commonly known, is that mountains are measured from the ground up, but if they were measured from where they start, Mauna Loa would be the highest. It starts below the sea, and rises 4,710m above sea level, but thousands of metres below. It makes up almost half of the area of Hawaii.

I just thought I'd make an impressive start!!


Last edited by Natalie on Sun Jan 09, 2005 8:36 am; edited 1 time in total

12701.  Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:33 pm Reply with quote

Welcome to you Natalie, and, yes, we like this kind of stuff. We used this question in the (unbroadcast) pilot show and also in the online quiz on the BBCi Comedy site during the current run. This is an extract from the answer we gave:
Of course, Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world, measured by the standard means of elevation above sea level - 8848m. But, measured from foot to summit, both Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (5895m above sea level) and Mauna Kea in Hawaii (4205m) are taller. If Mauna Kea is measured from its base on the sea floor instead of from sea level it is 1,360m taller. Kilimanjaro is taller than Everest on two different counts. Firstly, it rises straight out of the African plain, whereas Everest is merely one of many peaks topping the enormous base of the Himalayan range, and secondly, being on the Equator, it is substantially further from the centre of the earth (which opens a whole other can of worms - not only all the mountains in Ecuador, but all the beaches as well, are farther from the centre of the earth than Everest is).

About half of you spotted Mauna Kea and its twin peak Mauna Loa. Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador was nominated by (names). Kilimanjaro had support from (other names) and Kerry Weisselberg, who also submitted Quite an Interesting snippet: according to Kerry, Sir George Everest feared that people would take his measurement of the height of his eponymous mountain as a rough estimate, so he added two feet to the round number he had come up with so that it would be apparent that it was intended to be precise.

Incidentally, Sir George pronounced his name "Eeverest", not "Ever-rest", ...

But here's a question for you: how did those old-time mountaineers know how far above sea level they were?

12703.  Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:28 pm Reply with quote

And has anyone ever climbed down Mauna Kea to the very bottom?

That should be a new past-time, Climbing mountains backwards, or, rather, downwards. (Though doing it both downwards and backwards would be bloody impressive.) I understand this is impossible, but I shall still send the idea to Jules Vernes' people. He could use it, he's obviously run dry on ideas, he hasn't released anything in years. Round the world, centre of the earth, all good stuff, but since then...nothing.

12704.  Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:34 pm Reply with quote

a new past-time, Climbing mountains backwards, or, rather, downwards

Good idea. You could slide right down a mountain with planks tied to your feet. I bet people would pay to do that. We could call it shi-ing, or sky-ing, or ... I dunno, something like that. I bet it'd be huge.

12705.  Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:40 pm Reply with quote

By jove people
You have just invented a new extreme sport.
How about scuba ski ing for the underwater mountain

12706.  Mon Jan 03, 2005 1:46 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
t. We could call it shi-ing, or sky-ing, or ... I dunno, something like that. I bet it'd be huge.

or maybe luge?

12707.  Mon Jan 03, 2005 5:59 am Reply with quote

I say we sell novelty hats.

12708.  Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:42 am Reply with quote

And everyone that comes up with an idea on this subject should get a share of the profits!

How about calling it the QI - Quite Inverted summit?

12709.  Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:44 am Reply with quote

Actually brackett, its the going down the mountain which is hardest to train for (in a physiological sense).

12712.  Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:49 am Reply with quote

People could get helicoptered to the top, and then do death-defying stunts to get down it. At least they can't be told to "Aim higher!!"

12714.  Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:54 am Reply with quote

Natalie...ah..within limits. This is what they do for Mt Kenya, and it has very high rates of cerebral and pulmonary edemas...because you've not had time to adjust to the altitude. In a sense, just taking the helicopter up is death defying enough.

12715.  Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:55 am Reply with quote

Well, there you go then - Science ought to get a move on and invent a safe way of doing it!

12716.  Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:55 am Reply with quote

But it wouldn't be the first extreme sport invented in Oxford, come to think of it.

12717.  Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:58 am Reply with quote

Why Oxford? It probably would be in Derby.

12718.  Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:00 am Reply with quote

I was referring to bungee jumping, devised by the courageous at the Oxford Extreme Sports Club, or something like that.

I mentioned to brackett in the shop the other day that they had been in the news because the club, and its senior officers, had been acquitted in a case of a catapault slinging gone disastrous.


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