Ecuador Mountains – The Tallest Spot in the World

by | Apr 30, 2007 | Archives

Ecuador mountains are higher than any others in a peculiar way. Some miscellany on Ecuador mountains for weekend reading. Here are excerpts from an NPR article about Ecuador mountains by Robert Krulwich entitled: “The ‘Highest’ Spot on Earth?”

“Well, we all know that Mount Everest, at 29,035 feet above sea level, is the highest spot on our planet and is likely to remain so for a long, long time…unless we think about the word ‘highest’ in a different way. Suppose I asked you to find the spot on Earth where you would be closest to the moon, the stars and outer space. In other words, the point on Earth that is closest to ‘out there.’ Most of us, again, would point to Mount Everest . The Earth, it turns out, is more like a beach ball that someone sat on: It has a slightly distended middle. Therefore people in Ecuador , Kenya , Tanzania and Indonesia are all a bit closer to the moon (not much, only about 13 miles closer) than people standing at the North and South poles.

“Now to make it even more interesting, suppose we climb to the top of a mountain just south of the equator. There are several famous ones: Mount Kenya in Kenya , Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania , and a bunch of not-so-famous ones in the Andes . If you climbed to the top of one of them, would you be closer to space than if you climbed to the top of Mount Everest ? Joseph Senne, an engineer/surveyor, did the calculations and had his numbers checked by the director of New York ‘s Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of a new book on science and the cosmos, Death By Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries.

Quote on Ecuador Mountains

“It is Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador . Yes, Ecuador . Mount Chimborazo , in the Andes , is a 20,000-plus-foot peak sitting on top of a bulge on the Earth. Mount Everest is a 29,000-plus-foot peak sitting lower down on that same bulge. Because Chimborazo is a bump on a bigger part of the bulge, it is higher. According to Senne, Chimborazo is 1.5 miles higher than Everest! Or, if you will, 1.5 miles closer to outer space. If you define ‘highest’ as highest from sea level, Mount Everest is still champion. But if you want to stand on the place on Earth that is closest to the moon, that would be Mount Chimborazo !”

Here is a shot I took from our condos of the Ecuador mountain Mt. Imbaburra. Not as high as Chimborazo but closer than Everest to the stars!


May all your mountains be tall!


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