9 Mountains You May Never See in Person

Snow cover mountains getting hit by the sun

Robert J. Heath / Flickr

Google Earth is an invaluable tool for learning more about this fantastic world of ours. It can transport users to places that most could only experience in 2-D up until five short years ago.

Using Google Earth, we can stand in the middle of Pompei and look up at Mount Vesuvius or see Mount Everest from basecamp. We can spin around and zoom in and out. The world is at our command.

Most of the mountains on this list are well-known — everyone has heard of Everest, Mount Fuji, and Mount St. Helens — but few of us have any idea what it's like to experience these mountains in person. Using a computer isn't the same as putting your boots on the ground, but it's as close as you can get through the comfort of your computer screen. Enjoy these nine amazing mountains — with or without the use of Google Earth.

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Vinson Massif, Antarctica

John Evans/National Science Foundation.

Vinson Massif is the highest mountain in Antarctica. It sits 16,050 feet above sea level 750 miles from the South Pole. It was first discovered in 1958 by U.S. Navy flyers operating out of Byrd Station and was named after Carl Vinson, a U.S. congressman who supported funding research in Antarctica. Mountaineers attempting to see Vinson Massiff must deal with temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit and strong winds.

Google Earth coordinates:

78° 35'29.44" S, 85° 25'28.67" W

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Mont Blanc, France


Mont Blanc rises 15,782 feet above sea level and straddles the border between France and Italy. It's the highest mountain in the Alps, but because it's elevation changes year to year depending on the snow pack, it's exact height is in constant flux. First climbed in 1786, the mountain sees an average of 20,000 ascents a year and is considered a fairly easy climb, if a bit long.

Google Earth coordinates:

45° 54'54.61" N, 6° 54'59.24" E

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Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Stig Nygaard/Flickr.

Mount Kilimanjaro is an inactive volcano in Tanzania and the highest mountain in Africa at 19,341 feet above sea level. It is one of the largest mountains in the world from base to summit, rising 19,298 feet in all. The technical ease of the climb has dangerously lured hikers into taking the hike lightly; 10-20 climbers die there every year, most from the effects of the high altitude. It also is featured in one of the greatest songs of all time (in this blogger's humble opinion), Toto's "Africa."

Google Earth coordinates:

3° 03'55.95" S, 37° 21'42.16" E

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Mount St. Helens, Wash.


Mount St. Helens is best known as the mountain that literally blew its top in 1980, killing 57 people, destroying 250 homes and 185 miles of highway. The eruption took off about 1,300 feet off the mountain's elevation, leaving it at 8,365 above sea level. It's the deadliest and most economically devastating volcanic eruption in the history of the United States and it literally flattened about 230 square miles of ground. The Mount St. Helens you see on Google Earth today is a vastly different one than the one before the blast.

Google Earth coordinates:

46° 09'16.56" N, 122° 12'14.62" W

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Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica


It doesn't get more iconic than Arenal Volcano, the towering pyramid of a mountain rising 5,358 above sea level over Costa Rica's Lake Arenal. The still-active volcano's last major eruption was in 1968, and it destroyed the small town of Tabacón. Today it can be see spitting out rocks and other eruption debris.

Google Earth coordinates:

10° 27'50.12" N, 84° 45'31.39" W

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Mount Fuji, Japan


Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 12,388 feet above sea level. It's one of the most frequently painted mountain in the world and is a popular hike for climbers and hikers. An active volcano, it last erupted in the 1700s. The mountain sits close to Tokyo and is covered in snow several months of the year. About 200,000 people climb one of the four major routes to the top every year.

Google Earth coordinates:

35° 21'06.42" N, 138° 44'01.38" E

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Mount Everest, Tibet


Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, rising to 29,029 feet above sea level. The giant mountain straddles the border between Nepal and China and was first summited by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. There are hundreds of successful ascents every year, spurred by professional guide companies that sell the dream of climbing the world's highest mountain to anyone with a bit of fitness and $40,000.

Google Earth coordinates:

27° 58'57.41" N, 86° 55'51.24" E

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Pico de Fogo, Cape Verde


The island of Fogo sits off the western shore of Africa and is dominated by Pico de Fogo, a 9,281-foot high volcano that last erupted in 1995. The small village of Chã das Caldeiras sits within the caldera of the volcano and must be evacuated whenever it erupts. The island was first settled in the 1480s and focuses mostly on agriculture.

Google Earth coordinates:

14° 56'46.72" N, 24° 20'25.58" W

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Mount Vesuvius, Italy


Mount Vesuvius is a dormant volcano overlooking the Bay of Naples in Italy just five miles east of Naples. It's perhaps best known for erupting in AD 79, destroying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. It has erupted many times since and is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the large population living nearby and its propensity for explosive eruptions.

Google Earth coordinates:

40° 49'18.93" N, 14° 25'30.98" E.