How many mountains are there in the world?!
There are 1,187,049 mountains in the world!
This the latest number straight from the PeakVisor lab which counts all the mountains which have names and enjoy over 1 meter prominence. (Updated: November 1, 2020)
Here are some numbers for particular countries:
- The United States - 77,706 named mountains
- Italy - 42,541 named mountains
- Switzerland - 10,811 named mountains
How does PeakVisor count the mountains?
After weeks of grinding through numerous datasets in various formats, our team came up with this answer. As the process of mountain formation is far from being completely finished the number might change. Also, scientists, researchers, and mountaineers keep exploring, and bringing improvements to available databases. So, we expect this only to grow.
You might read about the data sources we use in our work on our PeakVisor under the hood page. Basically, we compile a global high precision Digital Elevation Model from several sources. After that we go through the data in OpenStreetMaps, GeoNames, SwissNAME3D, and other national toponymic databases, and merge them into one global dataset of geographical features. Finally, we confirm the mountains with our Digital Elevation Model and calculate their prominences.
You can explore all these 1,187,049 mountains in PeakVisor Mountains Explorer. For example here is the list of 286 peaks in the Province of Como, Lombardy, Italy to start with.
Now we are thinking of finding all the UNNAMED mountains in the world, counting them, and compiling a ToDo list for the global mountaineers community!
Update: Late 2020. During the lockdown in Europe, we finally finished our algorithmic analysis of the Earth's terrain and found about 100,000 more mountains without names. Surprisingly, those unnamed peaks have a topographic prominence of at least 300 meters / 984 ft. It sounds like a fascinating challenge to explore and name those peaks! Read more about that in the Unnamed Mountains article.