Take your kid on a holiday to a mountainous destination and see how excited he would get breathing the fresh air, and smelling the greenery around. Mountains are one of the most astonishing and marvelous landforms on earth. The beauty of these high peaked mountains is mesmerizing. The forests and vegetation, the flowing rivers and streams originating from the mountains as well as its rich flora and fauna only add to the beauty. Below, we look at some interesting mountain facts for kids, and a tiny quiz, just for fun!
Curious and young kids are always amazed about the formation of these mighty lofts and keep asking difficult to answer questions to their parents to satisfy their curiosity. Here is a compilation of information and some amazing mountain facts as well as safety tips to face the brimming questions children have about mountains.
1. What do you understand by a ‘mountain’?
A mountain is a landform that is higher than the terrain surrounding it. It is much higher and steeper than a hill. In general terms, mountains are higher than 600 meters and those below the specified height are called as hills. It is made of rocks and earth and has layers of snow on the peaks.
2. How can we describe a mountain?
Considering the physical aspects, a mountain is a tall structure with steep and sloping sides as well as sharp ridges and high peaks. Mountains can either be rocky and barren, devoid of any vegetation and covered with snow, or they can also be dense with trees and snow at their peaks. Every mountain will have a summit or a peak, steep slopes, and the deep valleys formed by the mountain. If the valley is between very young mountains, it is also referred as a gorge.
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3. How are mountains formed?
The formation of mountains is a complex process. The shifting of the tectonic plates result in the the creation of folds that cause the formation of the mountains. Volcanic eruptions also result in the volcanic rocks and mountains as well as the sediment rocks.
4. Where can you find mountains?
You will be surprised to know that mountains are found on at least one-fifth of the earth’s land surface are present in the seventy-five percent of the world’s varied nations. In fact, every continent boasts its mountain range and the oceans are also home to mountains beneath their deep waters.
5. What are the different mountain types?
There are five mountain types, namely Fold Mountains, Fault Block Mountains, Dome Mountains, Volcanic Mountains, and Plateau Mountains. The differences lie in their physical features and structures and also the way they were formed.
Fold Mountains: They are formed from a head-on collision of the two tectonic plates resulting in the crumbling of the edges and rising upwards, like paper folds when they are crushed or pushed together. The anticlines are upward folding mountains, and the synclines are downward folding mountains. Some of the distinctive fold mountains in the world include the Himalayas, the Alps, the Andes, the Rockies, and the Ural mountain ranges.
Fault Block Mountains: They are formed when faults or cracks on the surface of the earth force some of the materials upwards, while the rest of the materials go downwards below the earth’s surface and lead to the formation of the fault mountains. Sometimes due to the movement in these faults, the layers are stacked up together resulting in the formation of the mountains. One of the distinctive features of the Fault Block Mountains is that they have steep front and a sloping back side. The famous examples of such mountains can be the Sierra Nevada range in the North America as well as the Harz Mountains in Germany.
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Dome Mountains: They are formed by the volcanic eruptions on the surface of the earth. The melted rock or magma that is present under the surface erupts from the weak spots or cracks because of excessive heat and pressure. When the erupted magma cools down due to the temperature that is lower on the surface of the earth, it solidifies again to form a Dome Mountain. The effect of erosion on the top of the mountain by the wind gives it a dome-like shape too.
Plateau Mountains: They are formed by the process of erosion of the soil. They are actually land masses that have been formed by the layers of lava or being pushed by the tectonic plates to form into large masses. The continuous erosion of the tip of the land form gives it a flat but raised structure, which is called a Plateau Mountain.
Volcanic Mountains: The piling of the molten lava when it erupts from the surface of the earth leads to the formation of a volcanic mountain. The lava cools down with time to form solidified structure. (1)
6. What is a mountain range?
A long chain or a group of mountains is called a Mountain range. Mountains are considered a range if they are a 1,000 or more miles long. Some famous mountain ranges include The Rocky Mountains and the Himalayan Mountains.
7. How are the mountains measured?
Mountains are measured in three ways:
- Height from the sea level to the peak
- Height from the base to the peak
- The distance from the center of the earth to the highest peak of the mountain
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8. What do know about a mountain system?
When a group of mountain ranges clusters together, the phenomenon is referred to as a mountain system. The mountain systems of the US like the Rockies and the Appalachians are famous for their lofty peaks and deep valleys. There are various mountain systems spread across the world including the Alps that attract many tourists and travelers from various places.
9. Do people live in mountains?
Yes, people do live in mountains. In fact, around one-tenth of the world’s population reside in the mountains.
10. What are the various sports played in the mountains?
Mountains and snow provide excellent opportunities to play adventure sports such as skiing, para-gliding, mountain trekking, rock climbing, bungee jumping, white water rafting, canoeing, etc.
Amazing Mountain Facts:
Here are some fun-facts about mountains that your kids will surely love to know:
- One-fifth of the world’s landscape is occupied by the mountains. They can be found on all continents, and they are also one of the prominent landforms like plains and plateaus.
- The heights of the mountains are measured based on the height above the sea level. The ones under the sea are mentioned based on the height below the sea level.
- The highest mountain peak in the world is Mt. Everest in the Himalayan range. It is the toughest and most challenging mountain peak to conquer, and many mountaineers have the lifelong dream to reach this highest summit.
- There are mountains on the other planets too, with Mount Olympus Mons being the highest one, located on Mars.
- You can find mountains and mountain ranges under the sea too. Many high rising and ancient mountains are all below the sea level.
- More than 80 percent of the fresh waters in the world come from the mountains. The snowfall leads to glaciers and in summers, they melt to form rivers and other water bodies, providing water to water-starved areas.
- Mount Everest is still growing in height, at a rate of about 2.4in or 6.1cm a year. The reason is the shift in the Indian Tectonic Plate moving north under the Eurasian Plate.
- Even though Mt. Everest is considered the tallest mountain peak, in reality, Mauna Kea is taller than Mt. Everest by 4,436 feet. But it has a height of only 13, 796 feet when measured above the sea level.
- K2 or Godwin-Austen in the Karakoram Range of the Himalayas is the second highest mountain peak in the world, followed by Kanchenjunga in Nepal.
- The first 14 highest mountain peaks of the world are all situated in Asia, in the Himalayan range and spread across countries such as India, China, Nepal, and Pakistan.
- Mount Olympus is the highest mountain peak in Greece and is part of Greek mythology and legends.
- In the mountains, at the higher altitudes, trees are replaced by shrubs. When temperatures become extreme, you will hardly find any vegetation as the mountains stand barren at very high altitudes.
- Approximately 6,000 people or above have now climbed Everest and that includes a 13-year-old American in the year 2010.
- Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak of the world, grows 4 mm every year because of the tectonic plate activity.
- The first ever wedding that took place at a mountain peak happened in 2005.
Safety Rules for Mountain Trekking:
- Always go for hiking or trekking in the mountains wearing proper shoes. Never allow your kids to wear loose shoes or flip flops when hiking.
- Pack a first aid kit in your backpack while going on a hike with kids so that emergency situations can be taken care of without losing any time.
- Move in groups and always keep the small children with the adults for additional safety as they are often curious about their surroundings and can wander off leading to fatal consequences.
- Teach children to spot dangerous and poisonous plants and shrubs beforehand so that there is no accidental consumption of any poisonous shrub or leaf by them.
- Carry mirrors and whistles and give them to children also for purposes such as signaling using mirror flashing sunlight or by whistling. (2)
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We hope that you found the article informative and worth a read, to tell amazing facts about mountains for kids. Want to share some more? Feel free to comment below and let us know more about it.
So, how good were you with the questions? That’s what the answers look like! 1.B 2.A 3.C