What Are the Highest and Lowest Places on Earth?

The top of Mt. Everest in the Eastern Himalaya Mountains on the border between Tibet and Nepal takes honors as the highest place on earth. Everest rises 29,028 feet, or 5.5 miles, above sea level.

Attempts have been made to climb Mt. Everest since 1921, but it wasn’t until 1953, after eleven men had died trying, that Everest was finally conquered. That feat was accomplished by Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand mountain climber, and Tenzing Norgay, a tribesman from Nepal.

The lowest point on land is the shore surrounding the Dead Sea in the Middle East between Israel and Jordan. That area is 1,299 feet below sea level, and is actually the bottom of the deepest fault, or break in the earth’s crust.

If you’re curious about the lowest place anywhere on earth, that would be a spot in the Western Pacific Ocean near the Mariana Islands. Echo-soundings made there in 1951 showed the ocean floor of the Marianas Trench to go down to a depth of 36,198 feet. To better understand just how deep this is, just imagine that if Mt. Everest were put on the ocean floor in this trench, its peak would still lie one mile underwater.

The world’s tallest mountain, even higher than Mt. Everest, is Mauna Kea, an underwater mountain which rises 33,476 feet and has its peak on the island of Hawaii!