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China and Nepal have finally decided the official height of Mt. Everest after years-long dispute

Mount Everest is officially 29,032 feet tall which is three feet taller than the one previously considered.

Photo: Barry Bishop, courtesy of the National Geographic image collection

After years-long dispute and conflicting opinions, China and Nepal have finally agreed on the height of Mt. Everest, which is three feet taller than everybody considered.

The two countries announced in a joint virtual conference on Tuesday that Mt. Everest is officially 29,032 feet tall.

China and Nepal’s governments and many others have disagreed on the height of Everest over the years.

The mountain sits on the border of Nepal and Tibet and the climbers can take the summit from both sides. Nepal had never conducted a survey of the height of Everest until recently. It used data from India’s mission of 1954 which showed Mt. Everest to be 29,028 feet tall. Whereas China had conducted a survey in 2005 and was considering the height to be 29,032 feet.

Nepalese officials after facing pressure from Chinese officials, told BBC that they wanted to set up a team and “set the record straight once and for all”.

Spokesman at Nepal’s department of survey, Damodar Dhakal said, “Before this, we had never done the measurement ourselves. Now that we have a young, technical team [who could also go to the Everest summit], we could do it on our own.”

The team consisting of four surveyors was trained for two years before climbing the mountain. They used a leveling instrument, gravity meter and GPS to gather data. At every station, they placed a signal receiver as they scaled the mountain.

After measuring the time it took for the signals to travel up the mountain, they used trigonometry to convert that measurement into the official height of the mountain. That being, 29,031.69 feet.

The tallest place on Earth, Mt. Everest continues to rise at the rate of about 1.5 feet every century.

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