The following is a list of mountains that have been presumed, at one time, to be the highest mountain in the world. How general the following presumptions were is unclear. Before the age of exploration, no geographer could make any plausible assumption.
Chimborazo, 6,267 metres (20,561 ft). Presumed highest from sixteenth century until the beginning of the 19th century. Not in the top 100 highest mountains.
Nanda Devi, 7,816 metres (25,643 ft). Presumed highest in the world before Kangchenjunga was sighted in an era when Nepal was still closed to the outside world. Now known to be the 23rd highest mountain in the world.
Dhaulagiri, 8,167 metres (26,795 ft). Presumed highest from 1808 until 1838. Now known to be the 7th highest mountain in the world.
Kangchenjunga, 8,586 metres (28,169 ft). Presumed highest from 1838 until 1852. Now known to be the 3rd highest mountain in the world.
Mount Everest, 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). Established as highest in 1852 and officially confirmed in 1856.
K2, 8,611 metres (28,251 ft). News media reported in 1986 that satellite measurements by the University of Washington during an expedition to K2 by George Wallenstein had given a height between 29,064 feet (8,859 m) and 29,228 feet (8,909 m). This erroneous figure was quickly retracted, and K2's status as second highest was reaffirmed.