The world’s tallest mountain is now slightly taller, according to an updated measurement released this week.
The mountain is officially 8,848.86 metres (29,032 feet), according to the number agreed upon by both countries. That’s 86 centimetres higher than the measurement made by the Survey of India in 1954, which has been the widely accepted number ever since.
The 1954 measurement included the mountain’s snowcap, but China came up with a shorter measurement in 2005, when it excluded the cap.
Everest straddles the border between China and Nepal, and the shorter measurement provoked disagreement between the two sides.
Nepal and China finally agreed to re-measure the mountain from the top to the mean sea level, using GPS and the latest surveying equipment. They spent two years training a team for the project, then placed several markers around the mountain and another at the very top to come up with the new number.
“Before this, we had never done the measurement ourselves,” Damodar Dhakal, a spokesperson for Nepal’s department of survey, told BBC News.
The mountain sits at the collision point between two of Earth’s tectonic plates. Some geologists have suggested that it may have grown taller due to the movement of those plates, including the shift that caused a major earthquake in the area in 2015.
Dhakal says that earthquake was one of the major reasons for the re-measurement.
A total of 5,789 people have climbed the mountain 10,184 times since it was first scaled in 1953, according to the official Himalayan Database’s records.
At least 311 people have died on the mountain.
— With files from Reuters