Can You Tell if These Are Volcanoes or Just Regular Mountains?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo

About This Quiz

Throughout the history of the world, these two natural landforms (volcanoes and mountains) have evoked contrasting reactions from many. Mountains are defined as a natural elevation of the Earth, which rises several feet above sea level. Although some people define volcanoes as a type of mountain, it is differentiated by its cone, through which magma, lava and ash are expelled from the core of the Earth. Today, these two landforms continue to garner attention from all over the world.

Some people view them as majestic and unique landmarks, which have been featured in countless paintings, drawings and even photographs. In some cultures, they are viewed as the birthplaces or residence of the gods that they worship. On the other side of the fence, some people associate them with negative symbolism such as destruction, fear, and the anger of the gods who would unleash their wrath in the form lava and magma.

Would you be able to tell the difference between a mountain and a volcano if you were given an image? Well, this quiz was made to test just how well you know the two natural phenomena. Take it to find out how many of them you can correctly identify!

This is the highest mountain on Earth. It is named after Sir George Everest, a former British Surveyor General of India. Location: Himalayas mountain range on the border of China and Nepal. Highest elevation: 29,029 ft (8,848 m)

Mauna Loa is considered to be the largest active volcano on Earth in terms of mass and volume. Location: Hawaii, U.S. Highest elevation: 13,679 ft (4,169 m)

The eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 is recorded as one of the deadliest and costliest volcanic eruptions in the history of the U.S. Location: Cascade Volcanic Arc, Washington, U.S. Highest elevation: 8,363 ft (2,549 m)

Mount Assiniboine (nicknamed Matterhorn of the Rockies) is located on the Great Divide – a mountainous feature which extends from the extreme north of North America to the extreme south of South America. Location: Great Divide, on the British Columbia/Alberta border (Canada). Highest elevation: 11,870 ft (3,618 m)

This active volcano is the highest mountain in Washington. It is considered to be one of the most potentially dangerous volcanoes in the world, due to its huge ice covering. Location: Cascade Volcanic Arc, Washington, U.S. Highest elevation: 14,411 ft (4,392 m)

In 1952, French alpinist Lionel Rerray became the first person to climb to the top of Monte Fitz Roy. Location: Patagonia, on the border between Argentina and Chile. Highest elevation: 11,171 ft (3,405 m)

The north face of Eiger is considered to be one of the most dangerous and challenging climbs offered by any mountain. It is nicknamed “Mordwand” in German, meaning “murder(ous) wall.” Location: Bernese Alps, Switzerland. Highest elevation: 13,015 ft (3,967 m)

This dormant volcano last erupted between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago. Out of the five volcanoes from which the island of Hawaii is formed, Mauna Kea has the highest peak. Location: Hawaii, U.S. Highest elevation: 13,803 ft (4,207.3 m)

Mount Vesuvius is well-known for its extremely massive and violent eruption in 79 AD which destroyed and buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Location: Gulf of Naples in Campania, Italy. Highest elevation: 4,203 ft (1,281 m)

Mont Blanc (White Mountain) is the highest mountain within the Alps. A tunnel through the base of the mountain, connecting France and Italy, was completed in 1965. Location: Graian Alps (between Italy and France). Highest elevation: 15,774 ft (4,808 m)

Mount Etna is the largest volcano in Italy and one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. The volcano erupted on March 16, 2017 injuring 10 people when a quantity of magma exploded as it made contact with snow. Location: Sicily, Italy. Highest elevation: 10,922 ft (3,329 m)

This active volcano has what is often described as “the perfect cone.” It is the classic volcano shape which comes to most people's minds when they think of a volcano. Location: The province of Albay in Luzon, Philippines. Highest elevation: 8,081 ft (2,463 m)

Once known as the Black Dome, Mount Mitchell holds the distinction of having the highest peak of all the Appalachian Mountains. Location: Yancey County, North Carolina, U.S. Highest elevation: 6,684 ft (2,037 m)

Krakatoa had an extremely violent explosion in 1883 which all but destroyed the island it was located on. A new cone, named Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau), has since emerged in the constantly active caldera which that explosion created. Location: Between the islands of Java and Sumatra, Indonesia. Highest elevation: 2,667 ft (813 m)

On April 10, 1815, Mount Tambora had what is referred to as the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The event led the deaths of over 90,000 people and the sound of the volcano exploding was heard over 1,200 miles away. Location: Island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. Highest elevation: 8,930 ft (2,722 m)

El Capitan (Spanish for The Captain) was also called “Rock Chief” by Native Americans. Its almost vertical walls were once thought impossible to climb until 1957 when an expedition led by Warren Harding scaled its peak. Location: Yosemite National Park, California, U.S. Highest elevation: 7,573 ft (2,308 m)

In popular culture, Kirkjufell may be easily recognizable to fans of the TV series Game of Thrones. It is featured in both seasons 6 and 7 of the show. Location: Snæfellsnes peninsula, Iceland. Highest elevation: 1519 ft (463 m)

Annapurna I is the 10th highest peak in the world and the very first one over 8,000 to be climbed all the way to its peak. It is one of a group of mountains making up the Annapurna massif. Location: Himalayas, north-central Nepal. Highest elevation: 26,545 ft (8,091 m)

This dormant volcano consists of three cones: Kibo (centre), Mawensi (east) and Shira (west). Kibo is the youngest of the three and its peak represents the highest point on the entire continent of Africa. Location: Tanzania. Highest elevation: 19,341 ft (5,895 m)

Cotopaxi is the second highest mountain in Ecuador and the second highest active volcano in the world. Ecuador’s highest mountain is actually an inactive volcano named Chimborazo. Location: Andes mountain range, Ecuador. Highest elevation: 19,347 ft (5,897 m)

This is Australia’s highest mountain. It is one of the Seven Summits – a group made up of the highest peak on each continent. Location: The Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Highest elevation: 7,310 ft (2,228 m)

Puncak Jaya holds several distinctions. Among them is being the world’s highest island peak and the highest point between the Andes (South America) and the Himalayas (Asia). Location: Sudirman Range, Papau Province, Indonesia. Highest elevation: 16,024 ft (4,884 m)

This active volcano is the highest mountain in Japan. Its last eruption was recorded in 1707. Location: Honshu Island, Japan. Highest elevation: 12,389 ft (3,776 m)

Also called Mount Aconcagua, this is the highest mountain not located in Asia. It is the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres. Location: Andes mountain range, Argentina. Highest elevation: 22,837 ft (6,960 m)

New Zealand’s highest mountain is referred to by both its Maori name, Aoraki and its English name, Mount Cook. Its peak used to be about 30 feet higher, but it was eroded by a landslide in 1991. Location: Southern Alps, New Zealand. Highest elevation: 12,218 ft (3,724 m)

There was a lake on top of the volcano before its 1730 eruption. It is believed that the eruption caused a breach in the volcano’s rim and subsequent flooding and destruction of a town at the base of the mountain. Location: Luzon, Philippines. Highest elevation: 7,120 ft (2,170 m)

This potentially active volcano is believed to have had its last major eruption between 1781 and 1782. A minor eruption was recorded in 1907. Location: Cascade Volcanic Arc, Oregon, U.S. Highest elevation: 11,249 ft (3,429 m)

K2 is the second highest mountain in the world. It is also one of the most difficult and treacherous mountains to climb, due in part to frequent, severe storms. It has earned the nickname Savage Mountain. Location: Karakoram range on the China-Pakistan border. Highest elevation: 28,251 ft (8,611 m)

Chimborazo is both the highest peak in Ecuador and the highest peak near to the equator. One other distinction it holds is that its location on the equatorial bulge makes its peak the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from Earth’s center. Location: Andes mountain range, Ecuador. Highest elevation: 20,549.4 ft (6,263.47 m)

Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano consisting of two dormant volcanic cones. It is Russia’s highest mountain. Location: Caucasus Mountains, Russia. Highest elevation: 18,510 ft (5,642 m)

One sheer face and one rounded face give Half Dome its distinctive shape and its name. Contrary to popular belief, the sheer face is not the result of one side of the mountain being eroded or lost to a landslide. Location: Yosemite National Park, California, U.S. Highest elevation: over 8844 ft (over 2695 m)

The Soufrière Hills erupted in 1995 after being dormant since the 17th century. It destroyed Plymouth, capital of Monserrat (a small island in the Caribbean). Dozens of people were killed and two-thirds of the 11, 000 people who lived on the island had to be evacuated. Location: Montserrat. Highest elevation: 3,002 ft (915 m)

Kanlaon is one of the many volcanoes located on the horseshoe-shaped Pacific Ring of Fire. The last major eruption of Kanlaon, to date, occurred on August 10, 1996 when several hikers were killed. Location: Negros, Philippines. Highest elevation: 8,087 ft (2,465 m)

This potentially active volcano has been dormant for more than 1,000 years. It is the second highest mountain in Washington and one of the largest volcanoes making up the Cascade Volcanic Arc. Location: Cascade Volcanic Arc, Washington, U.S. Highest elevation: 12,281 ft (3,743 m)

Grand Teton is located in the much-visited Grand Teton National Park. Although there is some discrepancy as to who first climbed Grand Teton, it has remained a favorite climbing challenge of mountaineers. Location: Wyoming, U.S. Highest elevation: 13,775 ft (4,199 m)

Tre Cime di Lavaredo is Italian for “Three Peaks of Lavaredo.” In order of height, the three peaks are: Cima Grande (big peak) in the middle; Cima Ovest (western peak); and Cima Piccola (little peak). Location: Sexten Dolomites mountain range, Italy. Highest elevation: 9,839 ft (2,999 m)

Citlaltépetl is a dormant volcano and the highest mountain in Mexico. Only Denali (in Alaska, U.S.) and Mount Logan (in Yukon, Canada) are higher than it on the entire North American continent. Location: Trans-Mexican volcanic belt (Mexico). Highest elevation: 18,491 ft (5,636 m)

This is the highest mountain in the British Isles and one of the most popular among mountain climbers. Ben Nevis records over 100, 000 ascents annually. Location: The Grampian Mountains, Scotland, United Kingdom. Highest elevation: 4,411 ft (1,345 m)

Mount Kinabalu’s summit is known as Low Peak. It is a moderately easy climb for mountaineers, usually requiring a two-day hike to reach the top. Location: Sabah, Malaysia. Highest elevation: 13,435 ft (4,095 m)

Major volcanic activity has been recorded on Mount Agung from August of 2017 and continuing toward the end of the year. The last major activity before this was a catastrophic eruption in 1963, which eventually killed close to 2,000 people. Location: Bali, Indonesia. Highest elevation: 9,944 ft (3,031 m)

The Matterhorn has one of the most recognizable peaks in the world. Edward Whymper led the first group to reach the summit of the Matterhorn (in 1865) but tragically, four of the climbers fell to their deaths as the group descended the mountain. Location: Alps, between Switzerland and Italy. Highest elevation: 14,692 ft (4,478 m)

Mount Shasta is named after one of the groups of Native Americans which lived on the lands surrounding the mountain. Although it has not erupted in over 200 years, Mount Shasta is still classified as a potentially active volcano. Location: Cascade Volcanic Arc, California, U.S. Highest elevation: 14,179 ft (4,322 m)

The top of this imposing mountain can be reached either by hiking or by cableway. Both methods are popular with the many tourists who visit the flat-top mountain annually. Location: South Africa. Highest elevation: 3,558 ft (1,085 m)

In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus is the home of the gods. The area is rich in ancient, medieval and Christian sites. Location: Olympus Range, Greece. Highest Elevation: 9,570 ft (2,917 m)

This is the most active volcano in Ecuador, with an eruption which began in 1934 being recorded as still ongoing to this day. Close by is another active volcano, Tungurahua or Throat of Fire. Location: Ecuador. Highest elevation: 17,400 ft (5,300 m)

This Colombian volcano has been active for more than 2 million years. There has been intermittent volcanic activity with minor eruptions occurring as late as 2013. Location: Colombia. Highest elevation: 17,457 ft (5,321 m)

This Alaskan mountain is the highest mountain in all of North America. In 2015, the name was officially changed from Mount McKinley to the Native American name of Denali. Location: Alaska Range, Alaska, U.S.A. Highest elevation: 20,310 ft (6190 m)

Mount Meager has not erupted in over 2, 000 years but it is still regarded as potentially active and potentially very dangerous volcano. Hot springs, earthquakes and large landslides have been recorded in recent years. Location: Cascade Volcanic Arc, British Colombia, Canada. Highest elevation: 8,790 ft (2,680 m)

Popocatépetl is an active volcano and the second highest peak in all of Mexico, with only Pico de Orizaba ranking higher. It is Mexico’s most active volcano with eruptions recorded as late as 2017. Location: Trans-Mexican volcanic belt (Mexico). Highest elevation: 17,802 ft (5,426 m)

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