Natural wonders of the world. Only seven?

By Sergio González | 11:28

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, a living natural wonder

Who chooses what’s in? Why the Galapagos Islands are not?

There’s no such thing as an official list provided by an international organization about which are the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, but there’s an unspoken agreement worldwide accepted. Or not so much.

New7Wonders is a Swiss foundation engaged in providing new candidates for Seven Wonders of the World crown. They’ve been making massive polls –New 7 Wonder Cities is open for voting– to conclude that the 7 Wonders of Nature should include Amazon Rainforest and Iguazú Falls. Their results are disregarded by UNESCO due to multiple voting through Internet and marketing campaigns despite their popularity.

The polls conducted to find about everybody’s liking by CNN, ABC and other major networks are blended with the authoritative voting from geologists, biologists and all sorts of experts to reach a common ground able to meet the demanded criteria of amazement and uniqueness.

The bigger the better is the simple third point to beat. If you are the highest or the trendiest natural wonder, you’re going to  find your name on this VIW -very important wonder- list.

Here are the 7 wonders of nature that -so far- get more wows out of us.

Grand Canyon, AZ

The massive erosion carried out by Colorado River and its tributary streams throughout the time created a breath-taking landscape in Arizona portrayed in uncountable films and photo shoots.

A sacred land for native Hopi people -and a common destination for intrepid sports people nowadays- the Grand Canyon gains its position due to its huge scale and dramatic views.

Great Barrier Reef

The only underwater natural wonder is also the only one alive.

The largest coral system in the world houses millions of living colorful fishes, majestic anemones and playful shrimp, sharing a common home over a huge area and forming the biggest living ecosystem.

If you want to dive and witness the grandeur of nature, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is a protected reserve with accessible spots and touristic liveaboards

Aurora Borealis

Magnetosphere is a layer that covers our planet, from pole to pole; it’s essential for life since it protects us from harmful sun emissions.

When an ejection of solar wind reaches the Earth, magnetosphere splits the stream -as a river flow is diverted by a stone- and it’s sped up to the poles, where it hits the atmosphere, creating the magic Aurora wavy lights.

Its a unique ephemeral event impossible to schedule. If you don’t want to miss the Northern Lights, you’ll improve your chances during January and February and it’s also more likely that a geomagnetic storm enhances Aurora glow and colors.

This rare wonder  happens in both poles -it’s another New Zealand wonder- but Aurora Australis is weaker and darker to the naked-eye. Alaskan clean skies are a very good place to catch the green lights  but to see the red veils of the Roman goddess of dawn pray and choose Northern Scandinavia.

Aurora Borealis is the first among phenomenal wonders of the natural world

Paricutín Volcano

This little rascal has climbed up to the 7 natural wonders list for being the youngest volcano in the Earth, born in Mexico in 1943.

Lava erupted abruptly one February morning and kept on for 9 years covering nearby villages. A phenomenon of deep interest for geologists and researchers, it’s not a top destination for tourists, unless you fancy a peek into modern Pompeii.

Maybe Cueva de los Cristales should run for next election instead. What do you think?

Victoria Falls

Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

The famous rhetorical question was asked to the Scottish explorer by H. M. Stanley -another bold adventurer who had sailed Africa looking for him- when he finally found the discoverer of Victoria Falls surrounded by his new native friends.

Dr. Livingstone had followed the Nile upstream based on the legend of Mosi-oa-Tunia, smoke that thunders. After several dangerous voyages he was the first known European to have seen Victoria Falls in 1855.

They are the “largest sheet of falling water in the world”meaning they’re not the tallest– yet absolutely overwhelming. To boost your experience, rent a hot air balloon or the airship of your liking over the gorges.

Guanabara Bay

No list about natural wonders could leave Amazon Rainforest aside. Guanabara Bay is the biggest -regarding water volume- and a wonderful example of a South American mangrove ecosystem. The mouth of the bay is guarded by the famous Sugar Loaf.

If the Harbor of Rio wants to keep his privileged position major efforts and serious commitment await.

Fragile ecosystems can’t handle all the pressure inflected by the 12 million people living in the nearby metropolitan area of Rio without any help and if Brazil’s economic development continues skyrocketing, predictions can’t be optimistic for this natural wonder.

Mount Everest

It’s the highest peak on our planet if we mean to be at the top of Earth’s surface above the sea; other mounts such as Mauna Kea in Hawaii -if measured from the bottom of the sea- are strictly higher mountains.

With titles come honors and profits so they’re always in dispute and under the spotlight. The traditional 8848 m were recently proved to be exactly 8844.3 m by Chinese reserchers in 2005. Did Sir Edmun Hillary took a souvenir? No, he didn’t, 3.5 m of snow cover Mount Everest during all the year.

Actually, Mount Qomolangma -in Tibetan, Holly Mother– is alive and kicking. Himalayan Mountains were created by the ceaseless pushing of Indian subcontinent millions of years ago, when major tectonic movements were shaping our present world. In 2012, this still goes on and Mount Everest grows around 1 cm a year.

Photo Credit: Sarah_Ackerman

Photo Credit: DVIDSHUB

 

 

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