The tallest mountain on earth, above sea level, Mount Everest, has a height of almost 9,000 meters. Kindly take note of the “above sea level” condition. Almost everyone knows this fact, but only a few know how much Mount Everest weighs.
Although some might see the topic as needless, it might interest you to know how much this mountain weighs. Even aside from all of these, there are still other interesting things that you might want to know about Mount Everest. However, for this article, I will focus on the weight of the highest peak in the world.
How much does Mount Everest weigh? Mount Everest has an estimated weight of 360 trillion pounds. Sometimes, the unit is given in “tons,” but it has the same value as “pounds.” Remember that this weight is only an estimate and does not include the weight of ice and snow at the mountain’s peak.
It is possible that the weight exceeds or is less than the above figure. Just remember that this is only an estimate of the weight of Mount Everest. To match the weight of Mount Everest, you would have to pile up 27 billion African Bush Elephants on top of one another.
However, Mount Everest’s weight is influenced by various factors. You have to consider these factors when determining Mount Everest’s weight. Knowledge of these parameters makes it easier to arrive at an approximate weight.
Factors that affect the weight of Mount Everest
One of the highest determining factors of the weight of Mount Everest is the snow and ice surrounding it. The mountain is not only the highest peak on earth but also one of the coldest places, covered in snow and ice. The snow also has weight and has a direct impact on the total weight of the mountain.
The various rocks and metals on the mountain also affect the total weight. However, this value can be difficult or even impossible to obtain. It is impossible to take out all the rocks and metals on Mount Everest and measure their weights.
Fortunately, some scientific instruments can peek inside the rocks and estimate their weights and that of the metals. However, there is the possibility of errors, which is unavoidable. So, no matter how careful one is with these instruments, one can still make mistakes.
In addition, the landscape also has an impact on the total weight. For example, if you look at a picture of Mount Everest, you won’t find much of trees and other natural elements. However, plenty of these surrounds the mountain, especially at the base.
Thankfully, no one is mandated with the task of calculating the exact weight of Mount Everest. So, we only need an estimate of how much the mountain weighs. Calculating this is a simple formula, but you must already know some parameters.
Other Factors that Influence the Weight of Mount Everest
Before I proceed, there is another factor that affects the weight of Mount Everest that you should know. Although the effect of this factor is minimal on the weight, it would be good if you were aware of it. The factor is an effect of changing gravity.
Gravity is an essential factor used when determining the weight of an object. The exact mass of an object is multiplied by its gravity to arrive at the gross weight. However, you should know that gravity decreases with increased height.
It means that the gravity at the base of Mount Everest will be greater than that at the mountain’s peak. Therefore, to arrive at the exact weight of Mount Everest, one would have to consider the gravity at different levels of the mountain.
How to calculate the weight of Mount Everest?
Scientists have more precise methods of calculating the weights of different mountains, but it would be fun to find an estimate with just a few workings. With some basic mathematics formulas, we can arrive at the approximate weight of Mount Everest in a few minutes.
However, to find the weight of Mount Everest, we need to have some parameters known. These parameters include;
- The radius of the mountain base (r)
- Height of the Mountain (h); and
- Pi (), which is usually 3.142.
Once we have all these parameters known, finding the approximate weight of Mount Everest becomes straightforward. Mount Everest assumes a 3-dimensional shape similar to that of a cone. Therefore, to calculate the weight of Mount Everest, we will use the formula for calculating the weight of a cone.
However, we can’t arrive at the weight of a cone without finding the volume first. So, to find the volume of a cone (Mount Everest), we will use the formula “⅓r²h.” Once you can replace the parameters in the formula, you will arrive at the volume of the cone, which should be in cubic feet. You can easily convert the volume to weight.
It cannot be easy to find the exact mass and weight of Mount Everest or any other mountain on earth. Most of these challenges result from the variety of rocks and metals on the mountain. These objects have their unique mass, weights, and densities.
Aside from the metals and rocks found on the mountain, there are also layers made of sedimentary particles scattered with fossils. These fossils date as far back as hundreds of millions of years ago. It is believed that the current peak of Mount Everest was then the bottom of a sea or a lake.
If you dig into the crust of Mount Everest, you will find different layers of Rock, ranging from limestone, shale, granite, perlite, marine limestone, and hematite to marble. All these have distinct weights and have a direct impact on the total weight of Mount Everest.