Domestic Science, Feature Post

The continents and their highest points

Continents are the large landmasses on Earth, delimitated by convention rather than geographical properties. Here we will refer to elevation as the height above sea level. However, it has to be taken into consideration that distance from the center of the earth is not the same thing, due to the fact that our planet is an oblate spheroid, meaning that points at the Ecuator are farther out from the center than points at the poles. So here they are, in ascending order.

Continent: Australia
Elevation: 2,228 metres
Where: Mount Kosciuszko

With just over 2 000 meters, Mount Kosciuszko is not impressive by most standards. It’s not very difficult to reach the top, and it’s hard to consider it a deadly mountain. People actually climbed it (or most of it) using motorized vehicles, but that’s forbidden now, due to environmental concerns.

Continent: Oceania (let’s take it this way)
Elevation: 4,884 metres
Where: Carstensz Pyramid, New Guinea



There was a tight “fight” between Oceania and Antarctica, but the latter managed to be a bit higher. Accessing this peak requires a governemental permit and it was actually closed to tourists between 1995 and 2005.

Continent: Antarctica
Elevation: 4,892 metres
Where: Vinson Massif

Located just 1,200 km from the South Pole, and it was first climbed only in 1966 by a group of climbers from the USA.

Continent: Europe
Elevation: 5,642 metres
Where: Mount Elbrus

Since there is no clear limit between Europe and Asia, some say that Mount Elbrus is actually not in Europe, and the highest point in Europe is actually Mont Blanc (4,810 m). Still, at least for the sake of competition, we’ll take it in the old continent.

Continent: Africa
Elevation: 5,895 metres
Where: Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is a volcano in Tanzania; with it’s almost 6 thousand meters, it gives a breathtaking view of the surroundings, which is why it’s a favorite of many tourists. It’s top is a crater wide of about 2 km.

Continent: North America
Elevation: 6,194 metres
Where: Mount McKinley

“The Great One”, as it’s often called, is the central attraction of the Denali Park, in Alaska.

Continent: South America
Elevation: 6,962 metres
Where: Aconcagua

The highest point in the Americas, it’ the highest point in both Western and Southern emispheres.

Continent: Asia
Elevation: 8848 metres
Where: Mount Everest

Yeah, we all know this story. More details here.