Considered the tallest mountain on Earth, scientists believe that Mount Everest is growing a little taller each year. A common estimate for its rate of growth is about 0.16 inches (4 mm) per year. The actual height of Mount Everest is questioned, with surveys conducted by different nations producing slightly different figures. For example, the a Chinese surveying team calculated its height as 29,028.80 feet (8,847.98 m), about 11.64 feet (3.55 m) of which is an ice cap; while an American team found the mountain to be 29,038.71 feet (8,851 m), with about 3 feet being ice. The mountain was named in honor of Sir George Everest of Great Britain, and Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay of India were the first to reach its summit, on 29 May 1953.
More facts about Mount Everest:
- Although the success rate of reaching the summit of Mount Everest is only about 30 percent, more than 3,000 people have climbed to the top — some more than once, for more than 5,000 total ascents. More than 200 people have died while attempting to scale the mountain.
- Mount Everest is part of the Himalayan range and is situated along the border of Tibet and Nepal. The summit offers a view of three nations: Tibet, Nepal and India.
- The mountain is known as Chomolungma by the residents of Tibet and the Sherpa of eastern Nepal. The name roughly translates into English as “mother goddess of the Earth.”