MOUNTAINS

The top 20 countries with the highest percentage of mountainous areas are: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Bhutan, Lesotho, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Switzerland, Macedonia, Lebanon, Rwanda, Armenia, Nepal, Georgia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Swaziland, Turkey, Austria, Albania and Slovenia.

Mountains cover about 27 percent of the world's land surface.


All of the world's mountains above 7 000 m are in Asia, and all 14 peaks above 8 000 m are situated in the Greater Himalaya range extending along the southern rim of the Tibet Plateau.


Up to 80 percent of the planet's fresh surface water comes from mountains.

The total number of mountain people is 718 million. Of these, 625 live in developing and transition countries (2000).

About 12 percent of the world's population lives in the mountains, but over 50 percent are directly or indirectly dependent on mountain resources (FAO, 2000).

Some 80 percent of mountain people live below the poverty line.


As many as 245 million rural mountain people in developing and transition countries may be at risk of, or actually experiencing, hunger.


In 1999, 23 of the 27 major armed conflicts in the world were being fought in mountain regions.


Mountains make up about one-fifth of the world's landscape, and provide homes to at least one-tenth of the world's people.


Heights of mountains are generally given as heights above sea level.

The world's highest peak on land is Mount Everest in the Himalayas. It is 8,850.1728 m (29,036 ft) tall.



Ben Nevis is also the highest mountain in Great Britain.



The tallest known mountain in the solar system is Olympus Mons, located on Mars.


There are mountains under the surface of the sea!



Mountains occur more often in oceans than on land; some islands are the peaks of mountains coming out of the water.


About 80 per cent of our planet's fresh water originates in the mountains.


All mountain ecosystems have one major characteristic in common - rapid changes in altitude, climate, soil, and vegetation over very short distances.


Plants that may be found on mountains include conifers, oak, chestnut, maple, junipers, stonecrops, campions, mosses, ferns and climbers.



In some mountainous areas the rivers are permanently frozen. These are called glaciers.