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The natural wonders of the world

From Australia to Venezuela, from Canada to Korea, 28 of the planet's most spectacular destinations have reached the finals in the vote for the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

October 13, 2011
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Uluru, Australia

The idea of listing the wonders of the world is hardly a new thing. The historian Herodotus compiled his own list way back in the fifth century BC, and from then on many have been unable to resist the temptation of categorising and rating the world's monuments, both natural and man-made.

The traditional seven wonders of the world were the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. These were the monuments the Greeks considered the epitome of man's creative skill and ingenuity, and of them, only the Great Pyramid exists today.

Little wonder then, that in the information age there was a move to make a new list of man-made wonders. This initiative, not associated with the UNESCO World Heritage categorisation, was the brainchild of the New Open World Corporation, a private company, and, unsurprisingly in the world of modern technology, the decision was made by public vote. Over 100 million votes were said to be cast online and by phone before the New Seven Wonders of the World were officially declared in 2007:  the pyramid of Chichen Itza, the Colosseum Rome, the Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, Petra and the Taj Mahal.


Now there's a new list being compiled, but this time it's a list is of natural wonders. From all the planet's marvellous landscapes – forests, canyons, rivers, cliffs, waterfalls, mountains, volcanoes, seas, and islands – with all their varied ecosystems and wildlife, a short list of 28 has been drawn up. Once again, the choice will be made by public vote, and you have just for weeks to add your voice, as voting ends on November 11th. The short list is:

  1. Amazon, South America
  2. Angel Falls, Venezuela
  3. Bay of Fundy, Canada
  4. Black Forest, Germany
  5. Bu Tinah Island, UAE
  6. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
  7. Dead Sea, Israel, Jordan, Palestine
  8. El Yunque, Puerto Rico
  9. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
  10. Grand Canyon, USA
  11. Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Papua New Guinea
  12. Ha-Long Bay, Vietnam

  13. Iguazu Falls, Argentina, Brazil

  14. Jeita Grotto, Lebanon

  15. Jeju Island, South Korea

  16. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
  17. Komodo Island, Indonesia

  18. Maldives, Maldives
  19. Masurian Lake District, Poland
  20. Matterhorn/Cervin, Italy, Switzerland

  21. Milford Sound, New Zealand
  22. Mud volcanoes, Azerbaijan

  23. Puerto Princesa underground river, Philippines
  24. Sundarbans Delta, Bangladesh
  25. Table Mountain, South Africa

  26. Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia
  27. Mount Vesuvius, Italy

  28. Yushan, Taiwan

Further information:New 7 Wonders of Nature

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