How Was The Height Of Mount Everest Measured?


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The height of Mt. Everest was measured with trigonometry and a tool called a theodolite - as well as the efforts of many people - during the Great Trigonometric Survey of India.

At the time, little was known of the Great Himalaya in terms of specific geography and topography, and much of the Great Trigonometric Survey's job was to map this range. At the time, Everest was known simply as "Peak XV".

In 1852, it was measured by a young Bengali man named Radhanth Sikdar, who put its height at 29,000 feet exactly; today, with GPS, we know its altitude to be 29,035...Sikdar was only 35 feet off the mark!

Although Sir George Everest, the first Surveyor General of India, was against giving mountains Western names if a local name existed, Everest was named in his honor in 1865. The Nepali people have for centuries known her as Sagarmatha, "Goddess Mother of the Oceans", and the Tibetans to the north called her Chomolungma, "Goddess Mother of the Universe".

- Jake Norton
MountainWorld Productions

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