- The Great Barrier Reef can actually be seen from space, unlike the Great Wall of China.
- Mount Everest is not actually the highest mountain on our planet, but it is the highest spot on Earth. The highest mountain when measuring above sea level is Mount McKinley in Alaska.
- Aurora Borealis can also occur in the southern hemisphere, creating Southern lights, but this one is less known than its northern counterpart.
The Seven Natural Wonders of the world should not be confused with the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The latter is the more famous list that details the impressive man-made constructions from ancient times that include the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Temple of Artemis, among others. The Seven Natural Wonders is actually an organization that tries to promote and protect the natural wonders of our planet.
This project was created recently, in 2008, and besides promoting the natural beauty of our planet, it lists the seven natural wonders of the world, one for each continent. It stands in opposition to the New Seven Wonders of the world, another list made up of man-made constructions, and tries to focus on the most incredible attractions that can be found in nature. We will focus on each of the wonders in this article.
1. Mount Everest
Mount Everest is well known as being the highest place on Earth, at 29,029 feet above sea level (8,848 meters). It is located between Tibet and Nepal and is actually protected by the Sagarmatha National park. The actual local name for Mount Everest is Chomolungma in Tibet and Sagarmatha in Nepal.
However, the Royal Geographical Society gave it a more “western” name in 1865. Mount Everest is a place you can visit without climbing, by taking a helicopter tour, but it is known to get quite expensive, so be warned! Many people attempted to climb this mountain throughout history, and the first people to succeed were Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary in 1953.
One tidbit worth mentioning is that Mount Everest is only the highest spot on Earth, not the highest mountain. That title goes to Mount McKinley in Alaska, when measured above sea level, and the Mauna Kea volcano if we take the area beneath the surface into account.
2. Harbor Of Rio De Janeiro
Harbor of Rio de Janeiro can be found in Brazil, and what makes it unique are the granite mountains surrounding it. They create a surreal image and make you feel like you are in a place that is out of this world. These mountains were created by erosion from the Atlantic Ocean.
This harbor is often referred to as Guanabara Bay, so if you ever hear someone mention it by this name, you can be sure what they are talking about. Of course, it is also known for the huge statue of Jesus Christ that is overlooking it, serving as a symbolic guardian of the harbor. Swimming in this bay is actually not recommended due to the high levels of pollution.
3. Great Barrier Reef
Although the name would have you believe otherwise, the Great Barrier Reef is not actually a single reef. This wonder is made up of over 1,900 individual reefs that are composed of millions of tiny coral polyps. These polyps are actually living organisms, although they may not seem as such at first.
The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Australia, and it stretches over more than 1600 miles. It also includes more than 900 individual islands. There are multiple ways to visit this place, most of them include going underwater. Or you can simply use a boat with a glass bottom, your choice. Another way of experiencing the beauty of this magnificent place is by taking a helicopter tour.
4. Victoria Falls
A waterfall on the Zambezi River located in South Africa, Victoria Falls are a sight to behold. Plunging 354 feet down, and with a width of over 1 mile, this is a waterfall unlike any other. The local tribes call the Victoria falls Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means “Smoke and Thunders”.
It is protected by multiple national parks in Zimbabwe and Zambia, and while it may not be the broadest or deepest waterfall in the world, it is definitely the most visually striking one. However, when we take both attributes into consideration, it actually is the largest waterfall in the world. Victoria Falls managed to keep their “westernized” name even after Zambia gained independence, all because the local people had immense respect for the Scottish explorer David Livingstone that discovered it.
5. Paricutin Volcano
This volcano is located in Mexico, and compared to other places we mention in this article, it might not be as well known as they are. However, it definitely deserves to be recognized as one of the natural wonders of our planet because of its extraordinary beauty and size.
The volcano is no longer active, but one thing about it is especially interesting. It is actually the only volcano in history whose birth was witnessed and completely documented by humans. This happened in 1943, and the volcano continued growing for the next several years. The last time it erupted was in 1952.
6. Grand Canyon
What is there to say about the Grand Canyon that people do not know already? This extremely well-known gorge is located in Arizona in the United States and is quite possibly the most well known natural wonder on this list. It was featured throughout popular culture, in multiple movies, TV shows, and songs.
This also means that visiting and exploring it should be easier than the other places on the list. This is true, there are multiple ways for you to experience the Grand Canyon, on foot, by riding a mule or even by taking a water rafting trip. Of course, many will claim that the best way to experience the magnitude of this place is by taking a helicopter tour.
7. Aurora Borealis
Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights are wildly different from the other wonders on this list. It is not a place or something you can visit at any time, it is an occurrence that can be seen in the high-latitude regions near the Antarctic and the Arctic. Aurora Borealis appears in the sky as glowing, vividly colored lights that spread all over the horizon.
It truly is a magnificent sight and something that is hard to describe. It should definitely be experienced, at least through pictures, to be able to fully grasp why it is so special. There were many legends surrounding these lights throughout human history, but today we know that they are caused by cosmic particles caused by the solar wind in the magnetosphere.