World's Highest Mountains

10th June, 2021 Prelims



  • Mountains are formed through tectonic forces, erosion, or volcanism, which act on time scales of up to tens of millions of years.
  • A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger than a hill, typically rising at least 300 metres (1000 feet) above the surrounding land.
  • Some are technically either a massif or a volcano (or a dome in one instance).
  • A massif (French for ‘massive’) is produced when a hard, unbendable rock is pushed towards the surface. They can also be formed when magma hardens once it’s above ground. For the rest of this post, we’ll refer to mountains and massifs interchangeably.


The Highest Mountain on Each Continent

  • The highest mountains on each continent are considered to be part of the Seven Summits.

  • Among these impressive peaks, two are technically volcanoes—Mount Kilimanjaroin Tanzania, and Mount Elbrus in Russia.


  • The highest mountains in the world are all in Asia, with nine of the ten highest found in the Himalayan range.
  • Many of their names are derived from Sino-Tibetan languages, and some have mythological or religious influences.
  • The second-highest mountain is, K2.


North America

South America