What's the highest a mountain can grow on Earth?
Mountains form when tectonic plates collide and force the earth's crust to fold and rise.
Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth, standing at 29,029 feet (8,848 m) above sea level.
However, mountains have a limit to their height because their weight causes them to sink into the earth's mantle.
The mantle is a layer of hot, flowing rock beneath the crust, and the weight of the mountain pushes down on it, causing it to push back up on the mountain.
This is known as isostasy, and it prevents mountains from growing too tall, as their weight causes them to sink back into the mantle.
The height is influenced by factors such as the strength and thickness of the crust, the density and temperature of the mantle, and the angle at which the tectonic plates collide.
The tallest mountains are often found where two continental plates collide, as the crust is thicker and stronger in these areas.
The highest mountains are also often found near the equator, where the crust is hottest and most malleable.
Erosion can also affect the height of a mountain over time, as wind, water, and other forces wear away at it.
Rarely, mountains can continue to grow even after reaching their maximum height, if tectonic plates continue to collide and force the mountain to fold and rise.
Despite their height limit, the tallest mountains on Earth remain awe-inspiring and majestic natural wonders.