Sunday, November 13, 2011

The New 7 Wonders of Nature


New7Wonders.com launched a worldwide poll two years ago looking for the new 7 natural wonders of the world. Today, November 11, 2011, the voting ended and the provisional winners have been announced!
(In alphabetical order.)

The Amazon (Mostly Brazil & Peru)






The Amazon river runs 4,000 miles from the Andes to the sea, and is longer than any river but the Nile. This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, and with minor amounts in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and France (French Guiana). The vast Amazon basin covers more than two and a half million square miles, more than any other rainforest.



Halong Bay (Halong Bay, Vietnam)





Halong Bay is the stuff of myths and naturally the Vietnamese have concocted one. Halong translates as ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’. Legend has it that the islands of Halong Bay were created by a great dragon that lived in the mountains. As it charged towards the coast, its flailing tail gouged out valleys and crevasses. When it finally plunged into the sea, the area filled with water, leaving only the pinnacles visible.


Iguazu Falls (Argentina & Brazil)





Taller than Niagara Falls, twice as wide with 275 cascades spread in a horsehoe shape over nearly two miles of the Iguazu River, IguazĂș Falls are the result of a volcanic eruption which left yet another large crack in the earth. During the rainy season of November - March, the rate of flow of water going over the falls may reach 450,000 cubic feet (12,750 cubic m) per second.


Jeju Island (Jeju-do, South Korea)





Located southwest of the Korean Peninsula, Jejudo Island is a volcanic island in the shape of an oval that measures 73km from west to east, and 31km from north to south. Wind from the ocean blows steadily throughout the year and past volcanic activity has littered the island with an assortment of beautiful and unusually-shaped black rocks. The island’s reputation of having an abundance of women points back to the time when fishing was the primary means of income and many men were lost at sea.



Komodo (Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia)





These volcanic islands are inhabited by a population of around 5,700 giant lizards, whose appearance and aggressive behaviour have led to them being called 'Komodo dragons'. They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution. The rugged hillsides of dry savannah and pockets of thorny green vegetation contrast starkly with the brilliant white sandy beaches and the blue waters surging over coral.



Puerto Princesa Underground River (Palawan, Philippines)





The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas of the Philippines. It features a spectacular limestone or karst landscape that contains an 8.2 km long underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it flows directly into the sea, and the lower half portion of the river is brackish and subject to tidal influence. The area also represents significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. It contains a full mountain to the sea ecosystem and protects forests, which are among the most significant in Asia.


Table Mountain (Cape Town, South Africa)





Situated at the south-western tip of Africa, the Table Mountain National Park encompasses the incredibly scenic Table Mountain Chain stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south and the seas and coastline of the peninsula. The narrow finger of land with its beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the warmer waters of False Bay and has within its boundaries two world-renowned landmarks - majestic Table Mountain and the legendary Cape of Good Hope.

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