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The World's Tallest Mountain

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Maunea Kea as Seen from Space
Mauna Kea Observatories

Everyone knows that Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, right?

Well, if you want to get technical about it, the answer is NO.

Mount Everest stands 29,028 feet tall. From top to bottom, it's taller than any other mountain--whose bottom is the surface of the earth.

Here's the catch: If you add what's underneath, then Mount Everest isn't the tallest mountain. The winner then is Mauna Kea, a huge, very tall volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii (called Hawaii). Mauna Kea stretches 13,796 above water and 19,680 underwater, for a total of 33,476!

So if you say that it's the whole mountain that counts, then Mauna Kea is the tallest.

More about Mauna Kea

The volcano has not been active in more than 4,000 years. People, however, have been active on top of Mauna Kea for many years. Skiing is popular up there, as is astronomical observation.

Atop the mountain is the world-famous Mauna Kea Observatory, the highest astronomical observatory in the world. Here, scientists enjoy the dry air and high elevation to peer into the far reaches of space, many times through the Keck Telescope, the largest optical telescope in the world.

 Graphics courtesy of ArtToday

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