A mountain is a large landform that stretches above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges.

The highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,850 m (29,035 ft) above mean sea level. The highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m (69,459 ft).

"a natural elevation of the earth surface rising more or less abruptly from the surrounding level and attaining an altitude which, relatively to the adjacent elevation, is impressive or notable." -Oxford English Dictionary

Some of the highest mountains are at the bottom of the sea. Hawaii is at the top of a volcanic mountain in the Pacific Ocean. More than half the mountain is below water.

The largest range of mountains is in the Alantic Ocean.

The Himalayan Mountains were formed when India crashed into Asia and pushed up the tallest mountain range on the continents.

Mountain ranges are long chains or groups of mountains. Ranges are usually 1,000 or more miles long.

The Rocky Mountains and the Himalayan Mountains are examples of mountain ranges.

Mountains are home to approximately one-tenth of the world’s people

More than half of the world’s fresh water originates in mountains, and all the world's major rivers are fed from mountain sources.

Mountains can be very difficult to cross. They are often rugged and filled with forests and wild animals, such as bears and wolves. They may have no natural 'passes,' or easy places to cross the mountains. Mountains can also be hard to climb or may have ice or snow or glaciers that make travel dangerous.

In South America, the Andes Mountains were formed by the collision of the South American continental plate and the oceanic Pacific plate.


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