Tagged: New Seven Wonders of Nature

Congratulations World Class Winners: New 7 Wonders of Nature

November 14th, 2011 Permalink

On 11/11/11, the provisional winners on the New 7 Wonders of Nature were announced: Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River, and Table Mountain. Voting started in 2007 and ended in 2011 with over 100 million votes from around the world. The announcement came along with: It is possible that there will be changes between the above provisional winners and the eventual finally confirmed winners. The voting calculation is now being checked, validated and independently verified, and the confirmed winners will be announced starting early 2012 during the Official Inauguration ceremonies.The worldwide votes were led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation which is a Swiss-based, government-controlled foundation. We love nature, all nature, and want it preserved and kept clean without heavy evidence of humans passing through by leaving trash and other traces on trails. Sadly the Grand Canyon did not make the final cut. Neither did the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, the Black Forest, or Angel Falls which were some of our favorites and seemed to be doing well according to voting trends! Just the same, congratulations to the world class winners and new 7 wonders of nature. Here they are as described by the New7Wonders. [29 Photos]

Along 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. Photo #1 by Nikkodem

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Komodo National Park: Where Dragons Still Rule [35 PICS]

November 10th, 2011 Permalink

Komodo National Park in Indonesia is another of the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. The park has much more than reptiles, but it was founded to protect one of the world’s largest lizards — Komodo Dragons. In time, the national park expanded its conservation goals to protect marine life as well. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 and has maintained a high rank in the New Wonders of Nature competition. Komodo National Park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and many smaller ones. [35 Photos]

forked tongue komodo dragon

The Komodo Dragon is the most famous reptile in the national park. These dragons can grow to be over 9 feet (3 meters) long and weigh over 150 pounds. Photo #1 by Richard Wasserman

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Spectacular Scenery of Magnificent Milford Sound [43 PICS]

November 4th, 2011 Permalink

Beautiful Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most popular destinations. It’s a fjord located in the southwest of NZ’s South Island and is within the Fiordland National Park. Rudyard Kipling once dubbed it ‘the eighth Wonder of the World’ and its natural beauty is internationally renowned. Having been carved by a glacier, hundreds of temporary waterfalls cascade off the steep cliffs after a heavy rain. Milford Sound is another of the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. One side note, as a bonus, if you ever have a desire to get away from it all for real, to poof off the radar for the ‘ultimate privacy,’ New Zealand is the most highly recommended place where you can ‘vanish’ without a trace and live a happy life. [43 Photos]

Early morning calm in Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Early morning calm in Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. Kayaking, canoeing, boating and other water sports are highly recommended if you visit here. Photo #1 by Joe Forjette

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Incredible Iguazu Falls: Over, Under, or On a Boat in Devil’s Throat [26 PICS]

November 3rd, 2011 Permalink

Iguazu Falls, in the Iguazu River, is one of the largest waterfalls in the world and a tremendous natural wonder being that there are about 275 separate waterfalls ranging from 200 – 269 feet high. Devil’s Throat is the tallest of these falls which extend for nearly two miles in a huge semi-circle. Iguazu Falls is another of the very popular finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition.The legend behind this giant falls goes like this: A god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In rage the god sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall. Iguazu Falls is located near the border of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. The area has two National Parks, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. [26 Photos]

Panorama of Iguazu Waterfalls

Panorama of Iguazu Waterfalls. Photo #1 by Martin St-Amant

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Beyond Gorgeous: Great Barrier Reef (46 PICS)

October 27th, 2011 Permalink

This is the planet’s largest coral reef system and it can be seen as far away as outer space! The gorgeous Great Barrier Reef is off the coast of Australia, in the Coral Sea, and stretches for 1,600 miles (2,600 kilometers); it’s made up of about 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands. It is the single biggest structure created by billions of tiny living organisms. The reef supports an extremely rich diversity of life and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The beautiful Great Barrier Reef is also one of the very popular finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. Although a large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit human impact like fishing and tourists, tourism still generates around a whopping $1 billion per year. With the spectacular seascapes, landscapes, some of the most stunning marine scenery in the world, it’s not hard to understand why. It’s definitely on our bucket-list to see and dive before we die. Visitors often scuba dive and snorkel to photograph the remarkable and natural underwater beauty of the reef. [46 Photos]

You Can Help Conserve Coral Reefs

You can help conserve this gorgeous Great Barrier Reef, a consistently popular choice among the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. According to NOAA, “Even if you don’t live near a coral reef, you can still have an impact on them. Awareness is a big step towards changing behaviors that threaten reefs, and ensuring your impact on reefs is a positive one. Therefore, we all need to be aware of the importance of, and threats to, coral reefs.” Photo #1 by NOAA’s National Ocean Service

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Infamous Mount Vesuvius: One of the World’s Most Dangerous Volcanoes (41 PICS)

October 22nd, 2011 Permalink

East of Naples, Italy, looms the volcano Mount Vesuvius with an elevation of 4,203 feet (1,281 meters). It is a finalist in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition; voting trends show it becoming more popular and perhaps one of the winners from the 28 natural wonders. Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in 79 AD that led to the destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. It has erupted many times since and is today regarded as one of the most dangerous and infamous volcanoes in the world. [41 Photos]

Ancient Ruins of Pompeii

Mount Vesuvius looms in the distance from the ancient ruins of Pompeii. This volcano is best known for its eruption in 79 AD that buried and destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The towns were forgotten until their accidental rediscovery in the 18th century. Photo #1 by Glen Scarborough

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Amazing Amazonia: Amazon Rainforest [46 Pics]

October 19th, 2011 Permalink

The “lungs of our planet” have been attributed to the Amazon rainforest, also known as Amazonia. This Amazon jungle, or the Amazon basin in South America, covers over 1.7 billion acres acres (7,000,000 square kilometers); the actual tropical rainforest is spread over 1.4 billion acres and 9 countries: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. 60% of the Amazon jungle is contained within Brazil. The Amazon represents over half the remaining rainforests worldwide and contains the largest and most species-rich tropical forest system on our planet. Amazonia grew around the Amazon River which is the longest river, the largest river, and the basin has the largest area in the world. The Amazon River has total flow greater than the top ten world’s rivers combined. The biodiversity of this wet tropical forest could boggle the brain; one in ten animal species lives here and it is the largest collection of living plants on the globe . . . and much of the Amazon is still unexplored. It definitely should be protected for the tropical jungle paradise may hold the keys, yet to be discovered, to cure countless diseases.The amazing Amazon rainforest is one of the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. We love these pics! [46 Photos]

Red-and-Green Macaws DO grow on trees in the Amazon

The biodiversity in these wet tropical forests is mind-blowing. It is home to the largest collection of living plant and animal species in the world. One in ten known species on this planet lives in the Amazon Rainforest. Amazonia is home to around 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and more than 2,000 birds and mammals. So far, at least 40,000 plant species, 2,200 fishes, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptiles have been scientifically classified within this region. One in five of all bird and fish species live here. The Scarlet Macaws above are indigenous to the American tropics. The photographer wrote, “Red-and-Green Macaws DO grow on trees in the Amazon.” Photo #1 by Billtacular

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Dazzling Dead Sea Delights: Bob like a Cork, Smear on Salt and Mud [45 PICS]

October 16th, 2011 Permalink

The Dead Sea is one of the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. It is a salt lake between Palestine and Israel to the west and Jordan to the east. At almost 1,378 feet (420 meters) below sea level, its shores are the lowest point on Earth that are on dry land. In the deepest part, at the very bottom of the sea, it is over 2,300 feet below sea level. The ‘Salt Sea’ has 30% salinity which is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean and people can float in it with no effort required. In fact, people don’t ‘swim’ in the water; instead they tend to bob like a cork and may be inclined to kick back and read while they float. It’s also a place where people delight in smearing on mud and salt for health and beauty reasons. The Dead Sea is 1,237 ft (377 m) deep, making it the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. It has attracted visitors for thousands of years . . . including being a place of refuge for the King David from the Bible. [45 Photos]

A rough Dead Sea, with salt deposits on cliffs

A rough Dead Sea, with salt deposits on cliffs. Although the sea is called “dead” due to its high salinity which prevents fish and aquatic plants from living in it, the same salinity can treat several health conditions. The Dead Sea is also known by many other names such as ‘Sea of Salt’ and ‘Sea of Death'; and in Arabic ‘Sea of Lot’ and ‘Sea of Zoʼar.’ The Greeks called it ‘Lake Asphaltites’ and ‘the Asphaltite Sea.’ The Bible also refers to it as ‘the Eastern sea’ and ‘Sea of the Arabah.’ Photo #1 by Disdero

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A Lost World Where Angel Falls Plunges off Devil’s Mountain [38 PICS]

October 15th, 2011 Permalink

Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, is on the table-top mountain of Auyantepui which means “Mountain of Evil” or “Devil’s Mountain” in the native Pemon people’s language. This amazing waterfall is 3,212 feet high and plunges 2,648 ft over the edge of the Auyantepui mountain in the Canaima National Park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Angel Falls is 19 times higher than Niagria Falls and is one of the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition — in fact it is considered to be a highly probable winner. Although this famous waterfall is one of Venezuela’s top tourist attractions, it’s not so easy for the faint of heart to reach. Traversing through the jungle is a surreal adventure in itself and has been compared to traveling through a “Lost World.” There is an isolated jungle to trek, a flight to reach Canaima camp, and then a river trip to reach the base of the falls. Some adrenaline junkies make this journey for one reason, adventurous ‘angels’ come to fall off Devil’s Mountain. [38 Photos & 2 Videos]

Angel Falls world's highest free-falling waterfall

Angel Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall, is located deep within the Canaima National Park in Venezuela. The trek through the jungle is a surreal adventure in itself and has been compared to traveling through a “Lost World.” Photo #1 by My[confined]Space

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Sacred Uluru: The Ancient Heart of Australia [41 PICS]

September 15th, 2011 Permalink

Uluru, also known as Ayres Rock, is a World Heritage Site and a finalist in the running for the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. Uluru is considered as the ancient heart of Australia; it’s sacred to the Aṉangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. While many tourists feel like they must climb Ayers Rock before they die, the Aṉangu do not believe in climbing this landmark since it is of great spiritual significance to them. Uluru and Kata Tjuta make up the two major features of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Some tourists to central Australia feel like this beautiful and ancient heart is the most anticipated highlight of their visit. [41 Photos]

Uluru at sunset

Uluru at sunset. This gorgeous natural sandstone icon in Australia stands over 1,141 feet (348 m) above sea level and has more hidden below ground than what you see here. Uluru, also known as Ayres Rock, can appear to be differing shades of red depending upon the time the day and how the sun strikes it. Photo #1 by Richard Fisher

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Caving in a Palawan Boat: Puerto Princesa Underground River [31 PICS]

August 20th, 2011 Permalink

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan, Philippines, is another of the fabulous locations nominated as a finalists in the New Seven Wonders of Nature competitions. The PP Underground River features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river and is the second longest underground river in the world. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas of the Philippines. With its crystalline waters and spectacular cave formations, the Underground River is possibly Puerto Princesa’s most popular attraction. [31 Photos]

Aerial view of Coron, Palawan

Aerial view of Palawan paradise. Photo #1 by Patrick Kranzlmüller

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Wonder of Nature: Galapagos Islands [36 PICS]

August 10th, 2011 Permalink

The Galapagos Islands are made up of 18 main volcanic islands in an archipelago of Ecuador. These islands and the surrounding waters make up a national park and a biological marine reserve. The young naturalist Charles Darwin developed his theory of natural selection explaining evolution after researching the Galapagos Islands. These amazing islands are part of the ongoing series for finalists in the New 7 Wonders of the Nature competition. In 2007, UNESCO put the Galapagos Islands on the “List of World Heritage in Danger” due to the threats posed by invasive species, unbridled tourism and overfishing. Time and again, poachers have come into the Galapagos National Park and slaughtered sea lions. However in July 2010, the World Heritage Committee removed the Galapagos Islands from the “endangered” list because significant progress had been made by Ecuador in addressing threats. Yet in July 2011, Ecuadorean authorities seized 357 dead sharks from a boat that was fishing illegally in the protected waters of the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Since the Galapagos Islands have 170,000 visitors each year, new regulations have been introduced to protect the unique wildlife. Starting February 1, 2012, these new tourism regulations will limit vessels visiting the same site to no more than once during a 14-day period which may impact on travelers planning to visit the beautiful islands. So what do you think? Should the Galapagos Islands become one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature? [36 Photos]

A squirming baby sea lion (less than 6 weeks old) on the beach of Espanola Island in the Galapagos

A squirming baby sea lion (less than 6 weeks old) on the beach of Espanola Island. Sadly, the beautiful Galapagos Island which are rich with diverse wildlife has battled with human beasts as a huge threat. In 2008, Galapagos National Park officials announced that 53 sea lions (13 pups, 25 youngsters, 9 males and 6 females) were killed at Pinta, Galapagos Islands nature reserve, with their heads caved in. In 2001, poachers killed 35 male sea lions. Photo #1 by sly06

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