Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa. But where does it rank in order of the highest peaks on each continent?
What are the Seven Summits?
The highest peaks on each continent are known as the Seven Summits. The Seven Summits are:
- Mount Everest in Asia
- Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa
- Aconcagua in South America
- Mount McKinley (Denali) in North America
- Mount Elbrus in Europe
- Vinson Massif in Antarctica
- Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid) in Australia
Puncak Jaya is actually located in the Papua province of Indonesia. However, technically Puncak Jaya lies on the Australian continental shelf. The highest peak on the mainland of Australia is Mt Kosciuszko.
How tall are each of these mountains?
Mountain Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. It currently is 8,848 meters or 29,029 feet above sea level. It is located in Nepal and China, in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas.
The second highest peak is Aconcagua which stands at 6,962 meters or 22,841 feet. It is located in Argentina. In fact, it is the highest standing mountain in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres and is located in the Andes mountain range.
The third highest peak is Mount McKinley at 6,194 meters or 20,320 feet. It is located in Alaska. Recently, President Obama restored the original name of Mount McKinley to Denali, which has cultural significance to the native Alaskan people.
The fourth highest mountain is Mount Kilimanjaro it stands 5,892 meters or 19,340 feet and is located in Tanzania. It is the only free-standing mountain of the seven.
The fifth highest peak is Mount Elbrus. Elbrus stands at 5,642 meters or 18,510 feet. Located in Russa, it is actually two dormant volcanoes and lies on top of a moving tectonic area and is linked to a fault line.
The sixth highest summit goes to Vinson Massif measuring in at 4,892 meters or 16,050 feet. Located in Antartica, it lies within the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains. Vinson Massif overlooks the Ronne Ice Shelf near the base of the Antarctic Peninsula.
And finally, the highest peak on the Australian continental shelf is Puncak Jaya measuring in at 4,884 meters or 16,024 feet and is located in Indonesia. Australia is actually comprised of New Guinea, the country of Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Timor, other islands, and the submerged continental shelf.
But wait, there’s a technicality
Mauna Kea, located on the island of Hawaii, is actually the tallest mountain in the world. It stands 4,207 meters or 13,802 feet above sea level. Its peak is the highest point in the state of Hawaii. However, most of the mountain is under water. When measured from its oceanic base, Mauna Kea is over 10,000 meters or 33,000 feet tall. This makes it the world’s tallest mountain from base to summit.