Everest is the mountain whose summit attains the greatest distance above sea level. Several other mountains are sometimes claimed as alternative "tallest mountains on Earth". Mauna Kea in Hawaii is tallest when measured from its base; it rises over 10,200 m (6.3 mi) when measured from its base on the mid-ocean floor, but only attains 4,205 m (13,796 ft) above sea level.

By the same measure of base to summit, Denali, in Alaska, is also taller than Everest. Despite its height above sea level of only 6,193.6 m (20,320 ft), Denali sits atop a sloping plain with elevations from 300-900 m (1,000-3,000 ft), yielding a height above base in the range of 5,300-5,900 m (17,300-19,300 ft); a commonly quoted figure is 5,600 m (18,400 ft). By comparison, reasonable base elevations for Everest range from 4,200 m (13,800 ft) on the south side to 5,200 m (17,100 ft) on the Tibetan Plateau, yielding a height above base in the range of 3,650 m (12,000 ft) to 4,650 m (15,300 ft).[21]

The summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador is 2,168 m (7,113 ft) farther from the Earth's centre (6,384.4 km or 3,967.1 mi) than that of Everest (6,382.3 km or 3,965.8 mi), because the Earth bulges at the Equator. However, Chimborazo attains a height of only 6,267 m (20,561 ft) above sea level, and by this criterion it is not even the highest peak of the Andes.

Measured from sea level, the mountain K2 is ranked second in height with 8,611 m (28,251 ft) high.

The deepest spot in the ocean is deeper than Everest is high: the Challenger Deep off the Mariana Islands, is so deep that if Everest could be placed into it there would be more than 2 km (more than 1.3 mi) of water covering it.

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