Top 7 Weird Micronations

A micronation is a tiny, self-proclaimed sovereign state. Though they claim sovereignty and are often not interfered with by larger government entities, they are not recognized as official independent states (which sets them apart from microstates like The Vatican or Singapore.) There are any number of reasons someone may start a micronation: as a joke, as a form of art, for protest purposes, as a political or legal experiment, or even to conduct criminal activity. Often times a strange legal quirk (or outright loophole) gives these micronations a unique legal status. Some of them are hilarious. Some of them are interesting. Most of them are, in their own way, bizarre, unique, and strange.

1. Principality of Sealand
Size: 0.00055 km2
Population: 27 (2002 estimate)
Ruler: Michael Bates

Sealand is probably the world’s most well known micronation, and this is probably because the stories behind it are bizarre and truly intriguing. The site of Sealand is about 10 km off the coast of England, and was originally a World War II sea fort designed to deter German air raids. In 1967, Paddy Roy Bates occupied the sea fort (then called Knock John) and used it to run an off-shore pirate radio station. He and his family have claimed it as an independent sovereign nation, including issuing passports. Bates claimed that the nation was granted de facto statehood when Germany sent a diplomat there, and a 1968 UK court ruling stated that because of its location in international waters, it is outside of British jurisdiction. This is connected to what is perhaps the most fascinating event in Sealand’s history, which took place in 1978. While Bates was away, Alexander Achenbach, who refers to himself as the Prime Minister of Sealand, along with several German and Dutch compatriots, staged an armed takeover of the facility.

They held Bates’s son, Michael, hostage for several days, later releasing him in the Netherlands. Bates enlisted armed help to aid him in recapturing Sealand, and raided it from helicopters. He held Achenbach and the others as prisoners of war, and while the others were released, Achenbach was not. Since he held a Sealand passport, he was charged with treason against the micronation and was held unless he paid a hefty fine. When the British government would not help, Germany sent a diplomat to negotiate his release. From time to time, rather extreme things like this have happened at Sealand, including an instance in 1990 in which a British ship was fired upon with rifles from Sealand for passing too close and “invading Sealand territory”. It was notably in the news once more in 2007, when torrenting gurus The Pirate Bay attempted to buy it in reaction to harsher copyright restrictions in Sweden, its homebase.

2. Republic of Molossia
Size: 58 km2
Population: 2-3
Ruler: President Kevin Baugh

Molossia is headquartered just outside of Dayton, Nevada, and consists of President Kevin Baugh’s home, back and front yards, and two properties he purchased in Pennsylvania and California. He styles himself after a dictator, right down to the military uniform and big sunglasses, and his micronation has been described as “a hobby taken to the nth degree.” He also claims a spot in the Pacific Ocean and 49,881 square miles on Venus. Molossia pays taxes to the United States, but officially labels this as “foreign aid”. A variety of bizarre things are banned in Molossia, including: guns, walruses, catfish, onions (and onion-like vegetables), and anything from Texas except pop star Kelly Clarkson.

3. Principality of Hutt River
Size: 75 Km2
Population: Around 20 residents and 13,000-18,000 overseas citizens
Ruler: His Royal Highness Prince Leonard I

Prince Leonard Casley at Hutt River Province

The Principality of Hutt River (formerly Hutt River Province) was founded by Leonard Casley in 1970. The micronation was formed when the five families owning farms in the Hutt River area became involved in a legal dispute with the government of Western Australia over wheat farming quotas. Essentially, the families had produced an amount of wheat that greatly exceeded what they were told they could legally sell under a new law (1,000 times the allowed amount, in the case of Casley himself).

In correspondence with the Governor, Casley was addressed as “The Administrator of the Hutt River Province”, legally entitling him to that title. He changed his title to “His Royal Highness Prince Leonard I” to take advantage of an old law stating that anyone interfering with a royal could be held for treason, and used this to justify seceding from Australia. In 1976, Australia Post stopped handling mail for the micronation, and repeated demands were made that the residents of Hutt River Province pay Australian taxes. Casley declared war on Australia as a result, and the mail began to run again (and the tax notices stopped coming.)

4. Other World Kingdom
Size: 0.02 km2
Population: Varies
Ruler: Her Royal Majesty Queen Patricia I

The Other World Kingdom is what happens when a BDSM and femdom resort in the Czech Republic declares itself a sovereign nation. It is a matriarchy, meaning that men are ruled by women, and below the queen (who is an absolute monarch) a various levels of nobility for women. The OWK’s stated purpose is to “get as many male creatures under the unlimited rule of Superior Women on as much territory as possible.” There are multiples classes for men as well, the lowest being slaves, who are stated to be “on the level of a normal farm animal.” The site, while small, consists of several buildings and outdoor areas, including multiple torture chambers. It retains its own passports, currency, police force, state flag, banners, and national anthem.

5. Waveland

Size: 784 km2
Population: 0
Ruler: Greenpeace

The geographical site of Waveland is more properly referred to as Rockall, a rocky, uninhabited island near the United Kingdom. Its ownership is disputed by the United Kingdom, Iceland, Ireland, and Denmark. In 1997, the environmentalist organization Greenpeace briefly occupied the island in order to protest oil drilling in the area, declaring it the sovereign new state of Waveland, and offered citizenship to anyone who would take their pledge of allegiance. Since the United Kingdom claims it as its own territory, and since Greenpeace is free to move and operate in the United Kingdom, the UK government had no problem with Greenpeace’s actions and, for the most part, simply ignored them. The protest continued until 1999, when the organization financially backing the project went under. Now, all that remains is a solar-powered beacon to help ships avoid hitting the island.

6. Grand Duchy of Westarctica
Size: 1,610,000 km2
Population: 0, usually
Ruler: Jon-Lawrence Langer, Grand Duke of Westarctica

Westarctica is a wild stretch of Western Antarctica, unclaimed until 2001, when an American by the name of Travis McHenry founded it via a supposed loophole in the Antarctic Treaty, a set of agreements regarding how the international community treats Antarctica. Essentially, the Antarctic Treaty prohibits countries from claiming territory in Western Antarctica, but it does not specifically prohibit individuals from doing so. McHenry claimed his territory, then founded a country. As micronational leaders often do, he sent letters to various world governments informing them of this, but was quietly ignored. Antarctica has no native human population, and as such Westarctica has no year-round citizens. However, some research facilities have been stationed there, and the micronation both prints stamps and mints coins, which are available to collectors for purchase. In 2005, McHenry tried to annex both the Balleny Islands and Peter I Island to grow Westarctica, but nobody really took it seriously – the land already belong to New Zealand and Norway, anyways.

7. Kingdom of Talossa
Size: 13 km2 , plus a large stretch of Antarctica.
Population: 120
Ruler: King John I

Flag of the Kingdom of Talossa

14-year-old Wisconsin native Robert Madison founded the Kingdom of Talossa in 1979, initially claiming only his bedroom. As he grew up, he claimed more territory, eventually including a large part of Milwaukee’s East Side and two islands in Antarctica and France. Talossa developed in obscurity throughout Madison’s teen years, but was featured in notable publications like The New York Times and Wired, and subsequently appeared in newspapers and magazines world-wide. Most of Talossa’s “citizens” (more accurately “members”, perhaps) came to know Talossa through Madison’s website. Eventually, some of Talossa’s citizens became frustrated with Madison, suggesting that he had become autocratic and generally intolerable in his actions as leader, which included trumping up false charges of domestic abuse against one of his citizens. About 20 citizens seceded from the micronation, starting their own micronation called The Republic of Talossa. The most recent leader, John Woolley, was chosen in 2007, so this one is still going strong.



Incredible Hanging Railway in Germany

The hanging railway in Germany’s western central city of Wuppertal (pronounced Voopahtahl) is the oldest monorail system in the world. Built in 1900, the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn or “floating train” has been continuously operated since 1901, despite two world wars, various accidents and other turbulent events. Find out the stories behind this stylish and green mode of transportation.

Schwebebahn then and now – trial with 6 compartments in 1903, and in 2004:

What to do when a growing industrial region requires an efficient transport system yet geographical characteristics like hilly terrain, a flood-prone river and high groundwater levels prevent building of the same? This is the situation city planners faced in Wuppertal at the turn of the 19th century: The city region had reached an all-time population peak of 400,000 and quickly needed an efficient mode of transportation that would go beyond the requirements of traditional ground or subterranean transportation.

Narrow streets and many stairs – Wuppertal is called “Germany’s San Francisco”:

Leave it to the Germans to come up with something unique that would later be copied many times in the world: the suspended monorail. The model for this railway, however, came from English engineer Henry Palmer who had already devised plans for a horse-drawn suspended monorail in 1824. German engineer Carl Eugen Langen finally built and tested the first prototype for a motorized suspended monorail in Cologne in the 1880s. First prototype tested in 1897, here in front of the spires of Cologne Cathedral:

In 1898, construction on the actual Wuppertal monorail began and after a construction period of only three years, under master builder Wilhem Feldmann, was opened in 1901.

It was soon known as the “Wuppertaler Schwebebahn,” literally Wuppertal’s “floating train.” So great was the hype around this new mode of urban transport that even German Emperor William II was roped in to ride the monorail during a trial run on October 24, 1900.

The historic “Kaiserwagen” or Emperor’s Coach:

Today, the suspended monorail stretches over a track system of 13.3 km and 20 stops. 10 km of tracks follow the Wupper River at an elevation of 12 meters and for 3.3 km; the tracks follow Wuppertal’s narrow streets at a height of 8 m. The monorail reaches top speeds of up to 60 km/h and covers the complete distance in about 30 minutes. It is a popular mode of transport that carries 75,000 passengers every day or 25 million annually. New and futuristic looking – “Kluse” stop:

Given its long history, it might come as a surprise to learn that there have only been a few accidents involving the Schwebebahn and no fatal ones until 1999 when Coach No. 4 derailed because of parts left on the tracks after repair work. One train compartment fell into the Wupper and five passengers died while 47 were injured. Quick help after an accident on 5th August 2008:

Apart from a few exceptions, the monorail has not had to suspend services. During World War I, ridership sank because of large parts of the male population being drafted, leaving all operations in female hands. After the war, one of the stations was part of French territory and passengers actually had to pass immigration to proceed, slowing travel times down considerably.

Futuristic looking Schwebebahn above the Wupper in 1913:

World War II bombings and air raids of Wuppertal left stations and parts of the tracks damaged, so that full service was not possible and, after further damage in 1945, had to be suspended altogether. However, after the war, reconstruction of the beloved Schwebebahn went full steam ahead so that already in 1946, service could resume fully.

One bizarre accident deserves special mention: In 1950, the local circus decided to let Tuffi, one of its young elephants, ride on the monorail for promotional purposes. Tuffi soon lost his cool upon hearing the unfamiliar noises of the train and being suspended so high and decided to scoot: He broke through the sidewall of the compartment and landed in the river, unscathed.

The accompanying journalists weren’t as lucky – though none of them fell into the river, some were injured in the ensuing chaos. However, the whole incident became so famous that many drivers later claimed to have driven that fateful train. A clever local dairy company, cashing in on the publicity, quickly copyrighted the elephant’s name and is known as Tuffi-Campina to this day. Even space for a fair below:

Since 1901, though, the monorail concept has caught on worldwide because of its many advantages: minimal horizontal and vertical space requirements, lower construction costs compared to conventional rail systems, less noise pollution and no interference with existing transport systems.

The last point is also a disadvantage because monorails can only run on their own tracks, therefore making compatibility with any other rail infrastructure virtually impossible. Also, each monorail requires unique parts from a particular manufacturer, making servicing time-consuming and costly. Famous monorails can be found in Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Osaka, Tokyo and many amusement parks and airports; other suspended ones in Memphis, Dresden and Dortmund. Schwebebahn and Autobahn:

Though the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn is a landmark and famous sight of the city, most Germans, including this author, don’t give it a second thought. Given the many technical marvels and inventions that the country has brought forth, even a more than hundred-year-old suspended railway seems no big deal, especially one that integrates so well with other modes of transport that it is barely noticeable as something special.



Top 11 Leaning Towers in the World

A leaning tower is a tower which, either intentionally, due to errors in design, construction or to subsequent external influence, does not stand perpendicular to the ground. This list is about these unusual buildings.

As a start, here is an infographic a structural engineer can get behind: leaning towers. The Economist provides this nice visualization of several famous cases. For example, Big Ben is leaning north-west by 0.26 degrees, or 17 inches and Germany’s Leaning Tower of Suurhusen is at an angle of 5.19 degrees. We will enumerate several more cases... Read on to learn more about each leaning tower.

1. Two Towers of Bologna, Italy

The Two Towers, both of them leaning, are the symbol of the city. The taller one is called the Asinelli while the smaller but more leaning tower is called the Garisenda. The taller Asinelli Tower is built in the 10th century. It is 97 m (318 ft) high with a 2,23 meter (7,3 ft) inclination The base was modified in 1488 to house guards. The smaller is Garisenda Tower, a contemporary of its neighbor. Its strong inclination (3,22 m or 10,6 ft) is striking, caused by an earlier greater settling of the land.

2. Big Ben, London, UK

The British Parliament's Clock Tower (more commonly known as Big Ben) is leaning north-west by 0.26 degrees, or 17 inches (43.5cm), according to documents that were recently made public. The level of the tilt has increased to 0.9 millimeters a year since 2003, and it seems that underground developments including a parking lot and an extension of the London Underground have caused the problem.

3. Leaning Church Tower of Suurhusen, Germany

The Leaning Tower of Suurhusen is a late medieval steeple in Suurhusen, a village in the East Frisian region of northwestern Germany. According to the Guinness World Records it was the most tilted tower in the world, though in 2010 the newly erected Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi claimed this record. The Suurhusen steeple remains the world's most leaning tower that is unintentionally tilted, beating the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa by 1.22 degrees.

4. Bad Frankenhausen Church Tower, Germany

The central German spa town of Bad Frankenhausen is home to a tower more crooked than Pisa's. The sinking phenomenon was first observed in 1650, and has been progressing steadily ever since. The tower is perched on a hillside on the edge of town and looks like it could keel over in a stiff breeze. Locals insist the structure is sturdy and say no one has abandoned the row of tidy homes sitting about 75 feet (23 m) from the tower's base. At least not yet. Engineers have noticed that the speed with which the tower is falling has picked up recently, with the spire now moving 2.4 inches (6 cm) a year. At that rate, it could reach a tipping point in the next decade or so. Local and state government officials have agreed to spend $1.5 million to try to stabilize the tower.

5. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

The Leaning Tower was supposed to stand straight and plumb, an imperious monument to the trading power of 12th century Pisa. Built on soft clay, however, the tower began to list only a few years after construction began. Upon completion in 1350, the tower leaned about four and half feet, but as time passed, the angle of the 16,000-ton tower became more precarious. By 1990, the tower leaned about 13 feet (4 m) off kilter, and nearly two million pounds of lead ingots had to be placed on one of its sides to prevent its collapse. But the nearest the tower has been to destruction had nothing to do with its famed tilt. Allied forces ordered an American sergeant to blow it up during World War II when they thought the Germans were using it as an observation post. Only the reticence of the 23-year-old American saved the tower.

6. The Leaning Tower of Nevyansk, Russia

The Leaning Tower of Nevyansk is leaning tower situated in the center of Nevyansk and the most well-known building in the Middle Urals. It was funded by Peter the Great and built in the first half of 18th century by a famous Russian manufacturer Akinfiy Demidov. The height of the tower is 57.5 m (189 ft) from the ground. According to recent measurements, the deviation of the top part of the tower from a right angle is currently 2,20 m (7,2 ft). The exact date of the tower's building is unknown, different historical sources mention dates between 1721 and 1745.

7. Tiger Hill Pagoda, China

Tiger Hill Pagoda or Huqiu Tower is a Chinese pagoda situated at Changmen in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province. The tower was built in the later period of the Five Dynasties (907-960 CE), completed by the second year of the Song Dynasty. The tower rises to a height of 47 m (154 ft). It is a seven-story octagonal building built with blue bricks. In more than a thousand years the tower has gradually slanted due to forces of nature. Now the top and bottom of the tower vary by 2.32 meters (7,6 ft). The entire structure weighs some 7,000,000 kilograms (15,000,000 lb), supported by internal brick columns. However, the tower leans roughly 3 degrees due to the cracking of two supporting columns.

8. Leaning Tower of Burano, Italy

Tower of Burano or Church of Saint Martino is situated on the Venetian island Burano (it could more correctly be called an archipelago of four islands linked by bridges). Dating back to 15th century, the church boasts a leaning campanile (bell tower), which locals lovingly refer to as the "drunken" tower.

9. Leaning Tower in Torun, Poland

The Leaning Tower is undoubtedly the most attractive and famous tower in Toruń. This tower was a typical fortified tower, built as a part of the city walls at the turn of the 14th century clearly as a straight tower. Initially, despite its four-wall foundation, it did not have the front wall, which facilitated hoisting ammunition onto the higher floors. This popular tourist attraction leant as early as the Middle Ages presumably due to the instability of the ground and has been stable ever since. The tilt of the 15-metre (49.2 feet) tower is currently 146 cm (4.8 feet) off the perpendicular on the side of the street.

10. Oude Kerk, Netherlands

The Oude Kerk (Old Church), nicknamed Oude Jan ("Old John"), is a Gothic Protestant church in the old city center of Delft, the Netherlands. Its most recognizable feature is a 75-meter-high (246 ft) brick tower that leans about two meters from the vertical. Oude Kerk is the resting place of famed Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer.

11. Leaning Tower of Bedum, Netherlands

Leaning Tower of Bedum – the leaning church tower of Walfridus in the northern Dutch town of Bedum, also leaning more than the Tower of Pisa. At a 55.86m (183 ft), Pisa's tower leans about 4m (13 ft), while Bedum's tower leans 2.61m (8,6 ft) on its height of 35.7m (117 ft). If both towers were the same height, Bedum would have a greater tilt of 6cm (2,4 inches).



8 Unique Modes of Transportation

1. Floating Bus - Hippo, Canada

A Hippo is a unique 40 passenger vessel that offers land and water tours of Toronto. Come splash into Lake Ontario on our "Bus that Floats!"

Experience an urban safari in one of Canada's most beautiful cities with all its historical sites and its magnificent waterways. This unusual city tour of Toronto offers a fantastic adventure for the family or for tourists. It is 90-minute long.

2. Hanging Train - Schwebebahn, Germany

The Wuppertal Schwebebahn is the continent's only suspension urban rail line, which for most of its length runs 12 m (39 ft) above the river Wupper (10 km or 6 mi). Only the westernmost section between Sonnborner Straße and Vohwinkel runs 8 meters (26 ft) above streets (3.3 km or 2 mi). This line can be called a full metro line because it's totally independent, absolutely urban and runs on a 4-6 minute headway.

For almost 100 years this was one of the safest means of transport in the world, but unfortunately in April 1999 a bad accident happened after repair work had been carried out during the weekend and 3 people lost their lives and more than 40 were injured as a train fell down into the river Wupper. The single rail which carries the train is supported by 472 iron arches that span over the river bed. Currently all these arches are being replaced and also stations are being restored, most of them in their original Jugendstil design.

3. Underground Funicular - Carmelit, Israel

The Carmelit is an underground funicular railway in Haifa, Israel. It opened in 1956, and closed in 1986 after showing signs of aging. It reopened in September 1992 after extensive renovations. Because much of Haifa is built on top of Mount Carmel, the Carmelit (named after this mountain) is an underground funicular that goes up and down the mountain. The altitude difference between the first and last stations is 274 meters (900 feet).

Carmelit cars have a slanted design, with steps within each car and on the station platform. Since the gradient varies along the route, the floor of each car is never quite level, and slopes slightly "uphill" or "downhill" depending on the location. The Carmelit is one of the smallest subway systems in the world, having only four cars, six stations and a single tunnel 1,8km (1,1mi) long.

4. Polar Rover, Canada

They look like jacked-up buses on monster truck wheels. But did you know that the specially outfitted and heated polar rovers that used to see polar bears in the wild in northern Canada started out as airport fire control crash trucks? They’re custom redesigned to deal with the rugged conditions that an icy, choppy and rocky tundra present – and to make a comfortable ride for travelers on the lookout for the icon of the Arctic.

5. Ice Angel, USA

Madeline Island is the only one of Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands that is inhabited and it is connected to Bayfield on the mainland by ferry in the summer and by a two-mile ice highway in the winter when the waters of Lake Superior freeze over. However, during that transitional stage, when the ice is not strong enough to support a vehicle, the connection is serviced by ice boats with air propellers. How else would the kids get to school?

6. Canal Taxi, Thailand

Bangkok is sometimes called the “Venice of the East” due to its network of canals. River and canal taxis are still an important part of the city transit system and in many cases are much faster than the gridlocked traffic on the roads. This particular canal route goes right through the heart of downtown. Due to the fluctuating tides and some low bridges, it is necessary for the boat to “duck” at some points. The boats will slow at low bridges and the canvas canopy will drop a bit, forcing all passengers to crouch for a moment.

7. Bamboo Train, Cambodia

Those with a strong constitution may want to ride a Cambodian bamboo train - known locally as a nori. Passengers sit on a makeshift bamboo 'train' (basically just a bamboo platform) powered by an electric generator engine, perched just inches above the railway tracks and travelling at up to 40km/h (25 mph). The unmaintained railway tracks make for a bumpy ride and the closest you'll get to luxury is sitting on a grass mat. But the fares are low and this is a once in a lifetime experience, as all the locals use them for getting around. Pick up a nori from Battambang station.

8. Aerial Tramway, USA

The Roosevelt Island Tramway is an aerial tramway in New York City that spans the East River and connects Roosevelt Island to Manhattan. Each cabin has a capacity of up to 110 people and makes approximately 115 trips per day. The tram moves at about 17.9 mph (28.8 km/h) and travels 3,100 feet (940 m) in 3 minutes.

At its peak it climbs to 250 feet (76 m) above the East River as it follows its route on the north side of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, providing views of the East Side of midtown Manhattan.



Tallest Mountains in Solar System

Following are the tallest mountains in various worlds of the Solar System. Heights are given base to peak.

9. Arsia Mons, Mars > 9 km (5,6 mi)

Arsia Mons is 270 miles (approximately 435 kilometres) in diameter, almost 12 miles high (more than 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) higher than the surrounding plains), and the summit caldera is 72 miles (approximately 110 km) wide. It experiences atmospheric pressure lower than 107 pascals at the summit. Except for Olympus Mons, it is the biggest volcano in volume. Arsia Mons has 30 times the volume of Mauna Loa in Hawaii, the largest volcano on the Earth.

8. Mauna Kea, Earth = 10,2 km (6,3 mi)

Mauna Kea (Hawaii) has an altitude of 4,205 meters (2,6 mi) - much lower than Mount Everest. However, Mauna Kea is an island and if the distance from the bottom of the nearby ocean floor to the peak of the island is measured, then Mauna Kea is taller than Mount Everest. Mauna Kea is over 10 km (6,2 mi) tall compared to 8.848 m (5,5 mi) for Mount Everest - making it the Earth's tallest mountain.

7. Pavonis Mons, Mars ≈ 11 km (6,8 mi)

Pavonis Mons is a large shield volcano located in the Tharsis region of the planet Mars. Pavonis Mons is the smallest of the Tharsis Montes volcanoes, measuring about 375 km across and standing 14 km (8,7 mi) above Mars' mean surface level, but height from base to peak is about 11 km (6,8 mi). As a shield volcano, Pavonis Mons has an extremely low profile with flank slopes that average only 4°. The summit contains a deep, circular caldera that is 47 km in diameter and almost 5 km deep. A larger, shallower depression lies immediately northeast of the smaller caldera. The large depression is about 90 km in diameter and structurally more complex than the small caldera.

6. Elysium Mons, Mars ≈ 13,9 km (7,8 mi)

Elysium Mons is a volcano on Mars located in the Elysium Planitia, at 24.8°N 146.9°E, in the Martian eastern hemisphere. It stands about 13.9 km (7,8 mi) above the surrounding lava plains, and about 16 km (9,9 mi) above the Martian datum (mean surface level). Its diameter is about 240 km, with a summit caldera about 14 km across. It is flanked by the smaller volcanoes Hecates Tholus to the north, and Albor Tholus to the south. Elysium Mons was discovered in 1972 in images returned by the Mariner 9 orbiter. The Emi Koussi volcano on Earth has been used as an analog for Elysium Mons.

5. Ascraeus Mons, Mars ≈ 15 km (9,3 mi)

Ascraeus Mons is the second highest mountain on Mars. Mountain is roughly 480 km in diameter and is the second highest mountain on Mars, with a summit elevation of 18.1 km. It is surrounded by lava flow plains that are mid to late Amazonian in age. The elevation of the plains averages about 3 km above datum (Martian "sea" level), giving the volcano an average vertical relief of 15 km. The volcano has a very low profile with an average flank slope of 7°. Slopes are steepest in the middle portion of the flanks, flattening out toward the base and near the top where a broad summit plateau and caldera (collapse crater) complex are located.

4. Boösaule Montes, Jupiter's moon IO ≈ 17 km (10,6 mi)

Boösaule Montes is known to be the tallest non-volcanic mountain of the Solar System. It is located at IO, the fourth largest satellite of the Solar System and innermost satellite of the planet Jupiter. The geology of IO is quite interesting as it contains about 400 active volcanoes and contains over 150 mountains on its surface. The Boösaule Montes is one such mountain that lies on the northwest of the large Pele plume deposit and reaches an elevation of 17 km (10,6 mi). The mountain got its name from a cave in the Greek Mythology where Epaphus, son of Zeus, was born.

3. Equatorial Ridge, Saturn's Moon Iapetus ≈ 20 km (12,4 mi)

More than twice as tall as Mount Everest
Located on the dark hemisphere of the third largest satellite, Iapetus, of the planet Saturn, the Equatorial Ridge runs along the center of the hemisphere with some isolated peaks as high as 20 km (12,4 mi). The Equatorial Ridge was discovered by Cassini spacecraft on December 31, 2004. The formation of the ridge is still debated upon; however, it is agreed that the ridge is ancient as it is heavily cratered. The prominent bulge of the ridge gives Iapetus a walnut like shape.

2. Olympus Mons, Mars ≈ 22 km (13,7 mi)

Olympus Mons is a large volcanic mountain on the planet Mars. At a height above the surrounding plains of almost 22 km (13,7 mi), it is one of the tallest mountains in the Solar System and over twice as tall as Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth. Olympus Mons' elevation above the mean surface level (Martian datum) is over 25 km (15,5 mi), which males it the highest mountain in Solar System on that measure scale. This mountain is the youngest of the large volcanoes on Mars, having formed during Mars' Amazonian Period. Olympus Mons had been known to astronomers since the late 19th century as the albedo feature Nix Olympica. Its mountainous nature was suspected well before space probes confirmed its identity as a mountain.

1. Rheasilvia Mons, 4 Vesta Asteroid ≈ 23 km (14,2 mi)

Vesta is the second most massive asteroid in orbit around the Sun. Rheasilvia is the most prominent surface feature on asteroid 4 Vesta. 460 kilometres (290 mi) in diameter, it is 80% the size of the asteroid, making it one of the larger craters in the Solar System, and covers most of the southern hemisphere. It is believed to be an impact crater. It was discovered in Hubble images in 1997, but was not named until the arrival of the Dawn spacecraft in 2011.

It is named after Rhea Silvia, a mythological mother of the founders of Rome. Rheasilvia has an escarpment along part of its perimeter which rises 4–12 km above the surrounding terrain. The crater floor lies about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) below the surrounding surface. This basin consists of undulating terrain and a central mound, almost 200 kilometres (120 mi) in diameter, which rises 23 kilometres (14,2 mi) from its base, one of the tallest mountains in the Solar System (highest by base-to-top measurement). Spectroscopic analyses of Hubble images have shown that this crater has penetrated deep through several distinct layers of the crust, and possibly into the mantle.