geographical records

Geographical Records

List of Amazing Geographical Records

It’s often hard to verify geographical records, partly because they change over time and partly because of conflicting information from different sources. We’re always on the lookout for new geographical records to add to the list so please do add your suggestions.

SuperlativeGeographical Records
Highest mountainMount Everest in the Himalayas (Nepal, Tibet): 29,000 feet (8,848 m)
Second highest mountainK2 in the Karakoram (Pakistan): 28,250 feet (8,611 m)
Biggest mountain rangeThe Himalayas: 1,550 miles (2,500 km) long and 95-175 miles (150-280 km) wide
Longest mountain rangeLongest mountain range above sea level: Andes, about 4,300 miles (7,500 km) long
Longest mountain chainLongest mountain chain below sea level: Mid-ocean ridge (Atlantic): up to 4,970 miles (8,000 km) long and 3,730 miles (6,000 m) high
Highest active volcanoOjos del Salado (Chile, Atacama): 22,595 feet (6,887 m)
Longest riverNile (Source: Ruandaberge): 4,145 miles (6,671 km) long
Largest river by areaAmazon: about 2,7 million square miles (7 million km2)
Highest waterfallAngel Falls (Venezuela): 3,209 feet (978 m)
Biggest oceanPacific Ocean: 70 million sq miles (181.4 million km2)
Biggest lakeCaspian Sea (RUS / KAZ / IRAN): 149,000 sq miles (386,500 km2)
Largest freshwater lakeLake Superior in Canada: 84,130 km2
Saltiest lakeDon Juan Lake in East Antarctica: 44.2% (compared with the Dead Sea: 27%)
Deepest lakeLake Baikal (Russia): -5,375 feet (-1,638 m)
Largest lake in the worldCaspian Sea: 18,880 cubic miles (78,700 km3)
Largest tropical rainforestAmazon rainforest (aka Amazonia): Covers 2,123,562 sq miles (5,500,000 km2) including parts of Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela and Suriname
Largest tropical wetlandPantanal: Between 54,000 and 75,000 square miles (140,000 to 195,000 km2) located mostly in western Brazil extending into Bolivia and Paraguay
Largest islandGreenland, part of Denmark: 822,500 sq miles (2.13 million km2)
Largest island and continentAustralia: 2,934,375 sq miles (7.6 million km2)
Largest island in a lakeManitoulin in Lake Huron in Canada: 1,072 sq miles (2,777 km2)
Biggest countryRussia: 6,592,695 sq miles (17,075,000 km2)
States on Earth206, of which 193 are recognized states of the United Nations (UN)
Largest city in the world
Tokyo is the largest city (metropolis) with a population around 38 million (December 2016)
Largest continentAsia: 17,220,156 sq miles (44.61 million km2), 47 countries with a total of 4 billion people (60.5%)
Second largest continentAfrica: 11,698,900 sq miles (30.3 million km2), 54 countries with a total of 1 billion people (15%)
Largest canyonGrand Canyon: Between 3,280-5,905 feet (1,000-1,800 m) deep and between 277-217 miles (446-350 km) long.
Deepest canyonIt depends what you mean by deepest and where you measure from. The Indus gorge (at the confluence of the Indus and Gilgit rivers) is 23,360 ft (7,120 m) deep from peak to river which is 2,000 ft (600 m) deeper than the Kali Gandaki Gorge and 5,000 ft (1,500 m) deeper than the Yarlung Tsangpo Gorge which measures 19,714 feet (6,009 m) at its deepest point. These make up the three deepest canyons in the world – probably!
Deepest point on EarthVitiaz Deep (formerly Challenger Deep) in the Mariana Trench (western Pacific): -36,000 feet (-11,000 m)
Hottest placesAl Azizia in Libya: 58° (measured Sep 13, 1922) and Death Valley (USA): 56.7°
Coldest placesProbably “Ridge A” located between Dome Argus (Dome A) and Dome Fuji in Antarctica where -93.2°C (-135.76 F) was measured by satellite data on 10 August 2010. Vostok Station, Antarctica directly measured -89.2°C (-128.6 F) at ground level on 21 July 1983.
Wettest locationMount Waialeale on Kauai in Hawaii: 493 inches (1254 cm) rain/year
Driest areaAtacama (Chile): virtually no rain
Biggest desertSahara: 3,500,000 sq miles (9 million km2) which is almost as large as the entire USA or 37 times larger than the UK
Temperatures in the SaharaDaytime up to 60 °C, nights below 0°

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8 responses to “Geographical Records”

  1. Peter says:

    Great facts, really helpful

  2. Rakesh ranjan says:

    Thank you very much for such important information.

  3. JC says:

    Hi Romeo, thanks for your follow up. I’ve now added a Deepest canyon entry and listed the three contenders.

  4. Romeo says:

    Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon
    The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon (or Tsangpo Canyon), along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet, is regarded by some as the deepest canyon in the world at 5,500 m (18,000 ft). It is slightly longer than the Grand Canyon in the United States

  5. JC says:

    Hi Romeo, thanks for pointing out Tokyo is the largest city. Tokyo is really a massive metropolitan area covering three Japanese prefectures (Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama) and includes dozens of other cities including the six large cities of Saitama, Chiba, Kawasaki, Yokohama and Sagamihara. Finding up to date and comprehensive stats covering all those sources to arrive at an exact figure is beyond the scope of this list.

  6. Romeo says:

    the most populated city is tokyo not shangai

  7. JC says:

    Hi Juliet, thanks very much for your suggestions. I’ve added the largest tropical rainforest and largest tropical wetland to the list. Researching the single largest grassland (including steppe, savanna and prairie grasslands) has so far proven elusive. A list of Biames would be a useful ADDucation page so I’ve added that to our todo list. Thanks!

  8. Juliet Fleischer says:

    You only mention 3 biomes – desert, mountains, ocean. How about largest tropical rain forest, largest deciduous forest, largest temperate rain forest, largest coniferous forest, largest wetlands, largest grasslands, etc.?

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