Mountains aren’t just chunks of rock. They are an important part of the history of the earth, and of our history as people. Mountains play a special role in cultures all over the world. In this article we’re going to learn about five of the world’s most famous peaks.
You’ve definitely heard of this one before. After all, everyone knows it’s the world’s tallest mountain, right? Well, that’s complicated. Make sure you read to the end of this article to find out why. Mount Everest isn’t only tall, standing at around 8,500 meters, it’s also beautiful. Its snow-covered peak is quite a sight to behold. Interestingly enough, it only got the name “Everest” in 1849. George Everest, the man it’s named after, was not in favor of his name being used. He preferred the names that indigenous people gave the mountain, such as “Holy Mother” and “Sky Goddess”.
Staying in Asia, but slightly to the north east, we come to Mount Ararat. This mountain isn’t very tall. It stands at around 5,000 meters in height. Nevertheless, this mountain is very famous. This is because, according to legend, it is the resting place of Noah’s Ark. In fact, in the Persian language it is referred to as “Noah’s Mountain”. Throughout history the mountain has been a national symbol of the Armenian people. It has changed hands many times in history, which is perhaps why it is also known as “the mountain of pain” in some languages.
Casting our glance far to the east, we come to another iconic peak: Mount Fuji. Most people associate the word “Fuji” with a brand of cameras. This mountain is one of the most photographed spots on earth, so that connection makes sense. The Japanese people regard this mountain as a holy place. It is an important symbol of Japan. It’s a wonderful mountain to climb and take pictures of the fields of cherry blossom that lie at its base. But be warned: Mount Fuji is an active volcano. The last time it erupted was in 1707 – not so long ago!
Thankfully, not all volcanoes are a threat. Towering above the plains of east Africa you will find Mount Kilimanjaro. This is the tallest free-standing mountain on earth. Unlike most mountains, which belong to a range, this one stands alone. While it’s definitely a challenge, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t as difficult as climbing the mountains of the Himalayas, the range to which Everest belongs. Around 25,000 people climb Kilimanjaro every year. The record was set by Simon Mtuy, who managed to go up and down in eight hours and twenty-seven minutes!
Finally, we come to a real monster. Remember that earlier we said the status of “tallest mountain of earth” was complicated. Here’s why. Mauna Kea doesn’t look like much. It’s a moderately tall peak on the island of Hawaii. What’s special about this mountain is that if you measure it from its base, deep in the Pacific Ocean, it stands at an amazing 10,000 meters, which is actually higher than Everest! Because most of it is underwater, most people don’t think of it as a mountain.