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Surprising Geographical Facts

Do you know which is the tallest mountain in the world? I bet most of you would be surprised to know that it is in the United States. Almost everyone talks of Mount Everest, in the Himalayas, as being the tallest mountain, but it isn't. It has the world's highest peak, but it isn't the tallest. Why?

Mountains are measured from their base to their tip. Mount Everest stands on the Asia continental shelf. It is measured from the ground to the tip, and stands at 29,035 feet, to its summit (tip).

Mauna Kea on the U.S. island of Hawaii is 32,000 feet tall. Because it is measured from the ocean floor, it doesn't reach as high as Mount Everest, but is actually taller from base to tip.

Here are some more geographical facts that may make you wonder.

Highest Peak:
The tip (peak) of Mount Everest is the world's highest point. It is 29,035 feet (8,850 meters) above sea level.


Tallest Mountain:
Mauna Kea on the U.S. island of Hawaii is 32,000 feet (9,750 meters) tall. Because it is measured from the ocean floor, it doesn't reach as high as Mount Everest.

Largest Lake:
The Caspian Sea, at 143,244 square miles (371,000 square kilometers), is the largest lake in the World. It is a salt-water lake.

Largest Freshwater Lake:
Lake Superior on the U.S.-Canada border is 31,700 square miles (82,100 square kilometers) and the world's largest fresh water lake.

Longest River:
The Nile River in Africa is the longest at 4,241 miles (6,825 kilometers) long. It only just beats the Amazon in length.

Largest River (system):
Although it's not quite the longest, the Amazon River is by far the biggest river system in the world. Its drainage basin is almost 2.4 million square miles. It lets almost seven million cubic feet of water into the ocean every second.

Highest Waterfall:
Angel Falls, in Venezuela, drops 3,212 feet (979 meters) from Devil's Mountain.

Widest Waterfall:
Khone Falls stretch 6.7 miles (10.8 kilometers) across the Mekong River, between Laos and Cambodia.

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