Travel Trivia is a fun site with great travel info and trivia. We love the recent article about the longest mountain ranges. Mountain chains formed from similar soil and rock around the same age, sweeping across countries and sometimes, entire continents. Earth’s expansive mountain ranges stretch thousands of miles, with the longest range reaching over 4,000 miles. The world’s 4 longest mountain ranges are:
4) Transantarctic Mountains (Length: 2,200 miles)
The fourth longest mountain range measures about 2,200 miles across the entire continent of Antarctica. The Transantarctic Mountains divide Antarctica into two halves — West Antarctica and East Antarctica. It serves as an icy wall that divides the continent in twain. An estimated 98% of the Transantarctic Mountains are covered in ice. This makes the majority of these mountains inaccessible. The highest peak is known as Mount Kirkpatrick, which reaches a ginormous height of 14,855 feet above sea level. Research has shown that more diverse plant and reptile life once existed in these mountains, as shown through the discovery of fossils, but in the modern day, the conditions in these mountains are more suited for penguins.
3) Rocky Mountains (Length: 3,000 miles)
While it is only the third longest mountain range in the world, the Rocky Mountains are the longest mountain range in the continent of North America. Colloquially known as ‘the Rockies”, these mountains span 3,000 miles through two countries, stretching from northern British Columbia (Canada) down to New Mexico (USA). Mount Elbert, the highest peak of this range, is found at 14,439 feet above sea level in Colorado. The Rockies formed 80 million to 55 million years ago. Since the last ice age approximately 12,000 years ago, the Rockies have been home to many indigenous peoples of the Americas, such as the Apache, Arapaho, Bannock, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Coeur d’Alene, Crow Nation, Dunne-za, Flathead, Kalispel, Kutenai, Sekani, Shoshone, Sioux, Ute, and others. Many of these peoples hunted the now-extinct mammoth and now-endangered bison in the valleys surrounding the mountains. A majority of the mountain range is government-owned and protected park lands.
2) Southern Great Escarpment (Length: 3,100 miles)
Coming in second on this list, the Southern Great Escarpment is an African mountain range that spreads across 3,100 miles over the countries of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, and Angola. The highest peak of the Southern Great Escarpment is 11,424 feet above sea level. This peak is located in South Africa and locally called the Drakensberg. Some 180 million years ago, the Southern Great Escarpment formed. Today, the part of the mountain chain located in South Africa exists atop basalt lava with soft sandstones underneath, setting it apart from most rockier mountain ranges.
1) Andean Mountains (Length: 4,350 miles)
The Andean Mountains, most commonly referred to as The Andes, reach 4,300 miles long across southern Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and end in Venezuela. This range contains many active volcanoes, including one called Ojos del Salado on the border of Argentina and Chile. Ojos del Salado is the highest active volcano at a height of 22,615 feet above sea level. Alongside the mountains run high plateaus housing major cities like Bogota, Cali, Medellin, La Paz, and Quito. One plateau in the Andes, the Altiplano plateau, is the second-highest plateau in the world after the first-highest, the Tibetan plateau. This expansive mountain range is so long it is divided into three major categories based on climate: the Tropical Andes (located in northern countries), the Dry Andes (in Chile, northwest Argentina and Bolivia) and the Wet Andes (in CHile and Argentina at certain latitudes where there is more precipitation).
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