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ENCYCLOPEDIC ENTRY
ENCYCLOPEDIC ENTRY

Puncak Jaya

Puncak Jaya

Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid), a mountain in Indonesia, is considered the tallest mountain in Oceania.

Grades

5 - 8

Subjects

Conservation, Earth Science, Geography, Geology, Physical Geography

Image

Puncak Jaya

Indonesia's Puncak Jaya is the tallest point in Oceania and one of the few tropical or equatorial mountains in the world with glaciers.

Photograph by Alfindra Primaldhi

Puncak Jaya, or Carstensz Pyramid, is a mountain peak on the continent of Oceania. It is located in Indonesia, in the province of Papua. It is part of the Sudirman mountain range. At 4,884 meters (16,024 feet) high, it is the tallest mountain in the southwestern Pacific. It is also the highest island peak in the world.

The Indonesian name is Puncak Jaya, while Carstensz Pyramid is the European name, for the first European to sight the mountain, Jan Carstensz. He first saw Puncak Jaya on a sailing journey in 1623. Other Europeans did not believe his sighting, as Carstensz claimed that Puncak Jaya was topped with glaciers and snow.

Puncak Jaya is notable for being one of the few tropical or equatorial mountains in the world with glaciers. The Carstensz glacier and the Northwall Firn glaciers have shrunk in recent years due to climate change.

Puncak Jaya is part of the Seven Summits challenge in mountaineering. The Seven Summit challenge is a challenge where mountaineers climb the tallest mountain on every continent. Puncak Jaya is considered one of the most technically difficult of the Seven Summit climbs despite having the lowest elevation.

Since Puncak Jaya is geographically part of Oceania, many people consider it as the highest peak of Oceania. However, some climbers consider Australia as a separate continent from Oceania. Instead, Mount Kosciuszko in Australia, at 2,228 meters (7,310 feet), is included in this case.

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Director
Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
Author
National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
Program Specialists
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Producer
Clint Parks
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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