Choosing Seven Natural Wonders


Almost two years ago, I posted on the effort to declare the New Seven (Man-Made) Wonders of the World through an unprecedented global internet voting process which led to the results announced here in 2007. At that time, four of my choices made it into the final seven; they were Machu Picchu (Peru), Taj Mahal (India), Petra (Jordan) and Great Wall (China).

I recently discovered that there is now an attempt to identify the New Seven Wonders of Nature through the same global internet voting process. In this preliminary stage, you are allowed to nominate up to seven candidate sites or vote for seven candidate sites already nominated or any combination in between. The top 77 sites from this voting process will then be shortlisted and then the final round of voting will allow voters to select the top seven from that list. Those with the most votes at the end of that round will be declared the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

Currently as of 5th July 2008, the top 10 on the list are;

  1. Cox’s Bazar Beach (Bangladesh)
  2. Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
  3. Ganges River (Bangladesh/India)
  4. Tubbataha Reef (Philippines)
  5. Chocolate Hills (Philippines)
  6. Mount Everest (Nepal)
  7. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Philippines)
  8. Mayon Volcano (Philippines)
  9. Amazon River/Forest (South America)
  10. Mount Fuji (Japan)

It is early days yet but the top runners are surprisingly almost all from Asia with the Philippines having a high number or percentage of nominees. If you disagree, do please join in and vote.

Below are my seven choices;

1. Banff National Park (Canada)

My personal vision of paradise is closely represented by Banff with its forests rich in wildlife, stunning turquoise lakes, glaciers and mountains. I have visited Banff and it was beyond my expectation. I could live there quite happily. It’s a pity about the seasonal hordes of tourists but there is still sufficient wilderness to get lost in.

2. Auyantepui Mountain (Venezuela)

The Devil’s Mountain, in the native tongue of the Pemon peoples, it rises like other tepuis, almost vertically from the jungle floor and has a flat plateau like top. Tepuis are often referred to as islands in the clouds. Auyantepui rises to a height of almost 3,000 m and the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls, cascades off its plateau. It is rich in rare and unusual plant life. A wet and wold place.


3. Hardangerfjiord (Norway)

I have always been fascinated by the scenery of fjords and the geological power of the glaciers that it often represents. I visited here more than 25 years ago but was blown away by the grandeur even then. I would love to revisit this place of haunting and reflective beauty.


4. Milford Sound (New Zealand)

This is the Antipodean reply to the Norwegian fjords and beautiful and lush with its own wealth of flora and fauna. I have been on the cruise and have seen the unusual darkwater corals but would one day like to hike the spectacularly wet Milford Track.


5. Plitvice Lakes (Croatia)

Another place that I have visited that has captured my imagination ever since. This rates very high on my personal list because of its fairly unique nature and because I just love the landscape of waterfalls and crystal clear lakes linked by cascades and streams. It was just beautiful water everywhere and i just love water. The limestone outcrops and caves are added attractions.


6. Mulu Caves (Malaysia)

I know that this is in my own backyard but I have not visited it (relatively costly for me). However, I could not leave out from this list the world’s largest cave system and largest single cave chamber. Other special caves are also found in this system with individual characteristics. The large bat population is an attraction too as is the rich forest life surrounding the caves.


7. Pamukkale Springs (Turkey)

I have never been here but the thought of its rather special and delicate attractions gives me goosebumps. I would love to soak in its hot-springs.

Don’t miss out on casting a vote for your picks for the new Seven Wonders of Nature.

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