I was watching a show about Mt. Everest and it got me thinking what about the older super continents and if there was ever anything taller then Everest. Do we have any way of determining the height of any mountains in earth’s history?
Tallest ? Everest isn’t even the tallest now.
It’s certainly the highest but the volcano mountain that’s under Hawaii is a lot taller.
(Highest is based on altitude, tallest is measured from top to bottom)
Second, don’t worry about about people trying to sneak in their trick answers by redefining ordinary and well-accepted use of terminology. A kid standing on a chair is higher than I am–not taller. Extending the definition that way to mountains is just a way of making Hawaiians feel better about themselves. Next thing you know someone will be lobbying for Chimborazo as well, by which definition a beach at the equator is “ha-ha” still farther from the center of the earth than Everest’s peak. A kid standing on a chair is higher than I am–not taller.
You’re talkin’ about height above the geoid, and an ordinary definition of mountain…right?
I’d be interested if there’s a way to dope this out.
Not being an expert in any relevant field, I don’t see how you would measure a mountain that is no longer there to be measured. All the variables that could be stored in the geological record are rather imprecise and would leave margins of error wide enough to leave it all up for argument. A fascinating question, though.
The highest mountains (using the Chiefly Pedantic “everyday” definition) seem to be the result of folding resulting from the collision of continental plates. The Himalayas are as high as they are, and surrounded and flanked by other high mountains, as a result of India plowing into Asia. The Alps are basically the result of Africa impacting Europe. The mountains of Iran come from the impact of Arabia against Asia. The Andes and the Cascades derive from the two American plates impacting against the assortment of plates comprising the Pacific (mostly the Pacific plate, but there are at least three other plates of which remnants remain located between parts of the Pacific and American plates).
The reasonable step, therefore, would be to do some paleogeophysics, and determine which historical collisions were the greatest. The solution to “highest mountain ever” would be in the calculations resulting from the impact between the greatest collision that can be adduced from past plate tectonics.
Right. And this supports, rather than negates, essell’s point. A clarification is not a “trick answer.”
Isn’t Everest the highest a mountain can get on the Earth? Make it any taller, and it’ll subside from its own weight faster than it can grow. So you’d expect to see a lot of mountains now and in history comparable in size to Everest, and maybe a few feet taller, but I don’t think you’ll find anything significantly taller.
Of course, once you look past the Earth, all bets are off. Probably the limit would be an irregularly-shaped asteroid with a “mountain” that’s a third of the whole body.
Now, if Earth were a cube…
…on a treadmill…
…in 1960, for 20 minutes…
…and the mountain was in Rio…
… but wasn’t tiered…
…the Pennines would ensue.
Fun police here. Everybody out!
It’s actually funny to note that when Radhanath Sikdar first surveyed everest’s peak in 1852 he determined that it was 29,000 feet even, but he added an extra two feet when he published to make it 29,002, since he was worried that everyone would assume he was either fudging the numbers or rounding excessively.