Major mountain ranges in the world

A mountain range is a group of mountains and massifs located close together usually in a line. Mountain ranges are found throughout the world and are mostly formed because of tectonic activity. Let’s take a look at the major mountain ranges and some interesting facts about them.

The Himalayas

CountriesTop 3 highest peaksLength
India, Nepal, China, Bhutan, PakistanMount Everest (8,848.86 m), Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), Lhotse (8,516m)2,400 km
  • The Himalayas are perhaps the most famous of all mountain ranges. These mountains were formed when the Indian tectonic plate collided with the Eurasian plate.
  • The Himalayan mountain range is home to the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest (8,848.86 m).
  • It is one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world.
The Himalayas
THE HIMALAYAS – Image by Anita Chen from Pixabay
  • The Himalayan mountain range is divided into three parallel subranges- the Sivalik Hills, the Lower Himalayan Range, the Greater Himalayas.
  • The Himalayas are the source of three major rivers of the Indian subcontinent- the Ganga, the Brahmaputra, and the Indus.

The Alps

CountriesTop 3 highest peaksLength
Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, Italy, Monaco, LiechtensteinMont Blanc (4,808.7 m), Monte Rosa (4,634 m), Dom (4,545 m)1,200 km
  • The Alps is a famous mountain range that lies entirely in Europe. It was formed after the collision of African and Eurasian tectonic plates.
Image by Torben Stroem from Pixabay
  • Grenoble in France is the largest city in the Alps. It is also known as the “capital of the Alps“.

The Rocky Mountains

CountriesTop 3 highest peaksLength
USA, CanadaMount Elbert (4,401.2 m), Mount Massive (4,398 m), Mount Harvard (4,395.6 m)4,800 km
Rocky mountains
  • Rocky mountains were formed 80-55 million years ago.
  • The Rockies are broadly subdivided into 4 subranges – the northern Rockies, the Middle Rockies, the southern Rockies, and the Canadian Rockies.
  • These mountains are very sparsely populated with a population density of only about 4 per square kilometer.

The Andes

CountriesTop 3 highest peaksLength
Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, VenezuelaAconcagua (6,961 m), Ojos del salado (6,893 m), Monte Pissis (6,793 m)7,000 km
  • The Andes is the highest mountain range outside of Asia. It is also the longest mountain range on Earth above water.
  • The highest peak of the Andes, Aconcagua (6,961 m) located in Mendoza, Argentina is the highest peak outside Asia.
Machu Picchu in the Andes
  • Ojos del Salado in the Andes is the highest active volcano in the world. It is a stratovolcano and has an elevation of 6,893 meters.
  • The summit of Chimborazo (6,263.47 m) is the farthest point on the Earth’s surface (even farther than Everest because of the equatorial bulge).

The Atlas

CountriesTop 3 highest peaksLength
Morocco, Algeria, TunisiaToubkal (4,167 m), Ouanoukrim (4,089 m), M’Goun (4,071 m)2,500 km
  • Perhaps not as well known as the other mountain ranges on this list, Atlas is a 2,500 km long mountain range in Northern Africa.
  • These mountains were once home to the extinct Barbary lion and the Atlas bear.
Atlas mountains

Quick question

The equator passes through….?

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Answer to quick question

The equator passes through Brazil. The tropic of cancer passes through India.

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