Another 7 Natural Wonders?

Lonely Planet has decided that they do not agree with the New7Wonders, as many controversies have come from this voting competition. Instead, they chose the following, of which 4 were the same (Amazon, Iguazu Falls, Komodo, and Puerto Princesa Underground River):

1. Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil

Photograph: Judy Bellah

South America’s gushing spectacle washes away the competition as Lonely Planet readers’ top natural wonder. From the dizzying walkways to the spray from Devil’s Throat, the sight of this colossal waterfall is seared into traveller’s brains.

2. Grand Canyon, USA

Photograph: Mark Newman

The rocky wonder favoured by the New7Wonders list was Table Mountain, but the Grand Canyon, with its vermillion cliffs and river-carved rock faces, takes the number two spot among Lonely Planet readers.

3. Komodo, Indonesia

Photograph: Kraig Leeb

Teeming mangrove swamps and basking lizards hurtled Indonesia’s Komodo National Park into third place.

4. The Amazon

Photograph: John Borthwick

Finally, something we can all agree on. The rich jungles of the Amazon’s river basin are big hitters for Lonely Planet readers, as well as New7Wonders and the G Adventures bloggers. Check out our tips for Amazon riverboat trips.

5. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Photograph: Leonard Zell

Another firm favourite, this azure expanse of Queensland coastline is a magnet to snorkellers, scuba divers and beach hoppers.

6. Puerto Princesa Underground River, Philippines

Photograph: Tom Cockrem

This subterrannean river captured your imaginations, but it seems the whole country is dear to your hearts. Our survey showed an incredible 8 destinations from the Philippines were put forward, from the Banaue Rice Terraces to the Chocolate Hills of Bohol.

7. Uluru, Australia

Photograph: Richard l’Anson

The second Aussie highlight on our top 7, the sacred site of Uluru remains an unmissable icon for Lonely Planet readers.

 

So the Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef and Uluru are the wonders that Lonely Planet decided to use to replace Halong Bay, Jeju Island, and Table Mountains. Hmmm….I love them all, so just take me to all of them for me to decide on my own!!

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The New 7 Wonders of the World

About a month ago, I wrote about The Bay of Fundy and this wonder’s chance to be voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Alas, this wonderfully natural, Canadian phenomenon was not selected. But some great new wonders were chosen:

1. The Amazon

The Amazon Rainforest, also known as Amazonia, the Amazon jungle or the Amazon Basin, encompasses seven million square kilometers (1.7 billion acres), though the forest itself occupies some 5.5 million square kilometers (1.4 billion acres), located within nine nations. The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests and comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world. The Amazon River is the largest river in the world by volume, with a total flow greater than the top ten rivers worldwide combined. It accounts for approximately one-fifth of the total world river flow and has the biggest drainage basin on the planet. Not a single bridge crosses the Amazon.

2. Halong Bay

Halong Bay is located in Quáng Ninh province, Vietnam. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. The bay has a 120 kilometre long coastline and is approximately 1,553 square kilometres in size with 1969 islets. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves, other support floating villages of fishermen, who ply the shallow waters for 200 species of fish and 450 different kinds of mollusks. Another specific feature of Halong Bay is the abundance of lakes inside the limestone islands, for example, Dau Be island has six enclosed lakes. All these island lakes occupy drowned dolines within fengcong karst.

3. Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls, in Iguazu River, are one of the world’s largest waterfalls. They extend over 2,700 m (nearly 2 miles)  in a semi-circular shape.  Of the 275 falls that collectively make up Iguassu Falls, “Devil’s Throat” is the tallest at 80 m in height. Iguazu Falls are on the border between the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentine province of Misiones, and are surrounded by two National Parks (BR/ARG). Both are subtropical rainforests that are host to hundreds of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.

4. Jeju Island

Jejudo is a volcanic island, 130 km from the southern coast of Korea. The largest island and smallest province in Korea, the island has a surface area of 1,846 sqkm. A central feature of Jeju is Hallasan, the tallest mountain in South Korea and a dormant volcano, which rises 1,950 m above sea level. 360 satellite volcanoes are around the main volcano.

5. Komodo

ndonesia’s Komodo National Park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as numerous smaller ones, for a total area of 1,817 square kilometers (603 square kilometers of it land). The national park was founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon. Later, it was also dedicated to protecting other species, including marine animals. The islands of the national park are of volcanic origin.

6. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 km north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences. The underground river is reputed to be the world’s longest. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water’s edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave.

7. Table Mountain

Table Mountain is a South African icon and the only natural site on the planet to have a constellation of stars named after it – Mensa, meaning “the table.” The flat-topped mountain has withstood six million years of erosion and hosts the richest, yet smallest floral kingdom on earth with over 1,470 floral species. Table Mountain boasts numerous rare and endangered species. It is the most recognized site in Cape Town, the gateway to Africa, owing to its unique flat-topped peaks which reach 1,086 m above sea level.

* all pictures from New7Wonders of Nature

The website also states that this is not the “official” finalists, and that the “official” results will be announced in early 2012. Perhaps a tiny glimmer of hope for Canada?