France’s Institute for Research and Development (IRD) has made it official: Ecuador’s Chimborazo mountain is the highest point on earth.
Although it has long been known that the top of Chimborazo was the furthest point from the center of the earth, estimates varied as to how much.
Mount Everest in the Himalayas is the world’s tallest mountain when measured from sea level, at 8,848 meters, far higher than Chimborazo at 6,268. Due to the bulge of the earth along the equator, however, Chimborazo is two kilometers higher than Everest.
“The Earth is flatter at the poles and fatter in Ecuador,” according to French scientist and IRD rep Olivier Dangles. “The difference between the poles and Ecuador is 21 kilometers,”he said. According to the IRD, the new measurement has a margin of error of 10 centimeters.
Chimborazo is located in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes Mountains, 110 miles north of Cuenca. It is an inactive volcano.