Top 25 Natural Wonders Of The World Today
|25 Wonders Of The World Today - Photo KnowInsiders|
We have read and heard a lot about the seven wonders of the world. But other than those, there are natural wonders that deserve as much attention, if not more.
Here are 25 of the planet’s most spectacular sites you must visit once in your life.
1.The Sahara Desert, North Africa
Sahara, (from Arabic ṣaḥrāʾ, “desert”) largest desert in the world. Filling nearly all of northern Africa, it measures approximately 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from east to west and between 800 and 1,200 miles from north to south and has a total area of some 3,320,000 square miles (8,600,000 square km); the actual area varies as the desert expands and contracts over time.
The Sahara is bordered in the west by the Atlantic Ocean, in the north by the Atlas Mountains and Mediterranean Sea, in the east by the Red Sea, and in the south by the Sahel—a semiarid region that forms a transitional zone between the Sahara to the north and the belt of humid savannas to the south.
2. Bay of Fundy, Canada
Considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of North America, the Bay of Fundy is located approximately halfway between the equator and the North Pole on the remarkably picturesque east coast of Canada. What makes this particular bay so special is that it is subject to the highest tides on Earth (a difference of over 50 feet between high tide and low tide), which have been responsible for carving dramatic rocky outcrops, sea caves, and towering cliffs.
The area is also renowned for its Triassic-age dinosaur fossils as well as unusual minerals and gemstones. The bay attracts large numbers of rare whales (whale watching tours in the Aquarium Zone are very popular from May to October) as well as a huge number of migratory seabirds. Kayak tours are an ideal way to explore this natural wonder.
3. Dead Sea, Israel
The Dead Sea (also known as Salt Sea), located about an hour away from Jerusalem, is estimated to be approximately three million years old. It’s a top bucket-list destination, and for good reason—there’s nothing in the world like floating on the Dead Sea. The saline water has such a high density that it keeps swimmers afloat. People with skin conditions especially love to visit because they lather the mud on their body and the mineral-rich saltwater is said to have healing powers that are good for the skin. Just make sure to avoid shaving one to two days prior to your visit because the salt will burn any cuts; you shouldn’t stick your face underwater either.
|The original "Seven Wonders of the World" were named about 2,000 years ago, by Greek traveler and mathematician Antipater of Sidon. The structures he chose were marvels of engineering or gardening, all within reach of the Mediterranean. Only one of the original seven (the Great Pyramid) still stands.|
4. The Galapagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands are a group of 19 large islands in Ecuador with a unique ecosystem and diverse range of endemic marine life and species. You’ll find the island’s namesake giant tortoise, sea iguanas, penguins, and sea lions, to name a few. Watch the tortoises in their natural habitat at the El Chato Tortoise Reserve, snorkel with sea animals, or spot exotic birds.
For a challenging activity on land, check out many of the lava trails near the volcanoes. Bartolomé is probably the most iconic island—and the most visited. Hike more than 300 steps to the summit and you’ll be rewarded with epic views of Pinnacle Rock.
5. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Located in County Antrim on the scenic north coast of Northern Island, the Giant’s Causeway is an area of over 40,000 adjacent basalt columns that were created by a series of ancient volcanic eruptions. What makes these remarkably “stepping stones” so special is that each and every one of them is symmetrical and interlocking, as though they were carefully set in place by a giant hand.
You can learn more about the 60-million-year formation of the causeway at the visitor’s center, where you can view an interactive audiovisual presentation before setting off to explore the site. Thousands of years of natural erosion have polished many of the stones to a smooth finish and you are advised to wear sturdy walking shoes.
|A Wonder of the World must embody a sense of magic and mystery. It should be a place that grows more intriguing with time - like a complex, beguiling character met on our travels. We should feel inspired by the relationship, and bid farewell with genuine regret.|
6. Mud volcanoes, Gobustan, Azerbaijan
|Photo India Times|
Located in central Azerbaijan, the mud volcanoes of Gobustan National Park gurgle with a combination of methane and mud. Occasionally, however, the methane builds up and the cones burst into flames.
7. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
One of the world’s greatest spectacles also happens to be one of the most vulnerable. Whether you choose to view this global treasure from a helicopter or go scuba diving to enjoy close encounters with more than 1,500 species of tropical fish, it’s hard not to notice the direct impact of climate change.
Warmer temperatures have led to significant amounts of coral bleaching, and farming pollution has caused starfish to feed off the precious coral. If the damage continues on the same trajectory, more than 90 percent of the living coral will erode within the next decade. Add this natural wonder of the world to your bucket list before it’s too late, along with these other breathtaking places that might soon disappear.
8. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
|Photo Nhan Dan|
Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Halong Bay is a beautiful natural wonder in northern Vietnam near the Chinese border. The Bay is dotted with 1,600 limestone islands and islets and covers an area of over 1,500 sqkm.
The outstanding value of the property is centered around the drowned limestone karst landforms, displaying spectacular pillars with a variety of coastal erosional features such as arches and caves which form a majestic natural scenery.
The repeated regression and transgression of the sea on the limestone karst over geological time has produced a mature landscape of clusters of conical peaks and isolated towers which were modified by sea invasion, adding an extra elemant to the process of lateral undercutting of the limstone towers and islands.
9. Iguazu Falls, Brazil-Argentina
Split between Argentina and Brazil, these famous falls are all drama and all beauty, all the time. They’re located in Iguazú National Park, a subtropical rainforest that offers many different vantage points of the waterfalls. Book a boat ride and see them up close as you sail through the Lower Iguazú River, or walk through the park—but either way, but expect to get soaked!
Closer to home, you can check out the most gorgeous waterfalls in America.
10. Jeju Island, Korea
Jeju Island is a volcanic island located off the coast of the Korean Peninsula that has received UNESCO World Heritage Status for its outstanding natural assets, which include the finest lava tube system on the planet. In addition to the remarkable Manjanggul Lava Tube Cave, which has multi-colored carbonate roofs, floors, and lava walls, the island is home to Mount Hallasan, the tallest mountain in Korea, which boasts waterfalls, forests, and a lake-filled crater.
You can learn all about the remarkable geology of the island on a guided day tour from Seoul, or spend a little longer on the island and visit Mount Halla National Park, where you can hike along a very scenic 9-mile shaded forest trail.
11. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Towering majestically over the surrounding Tanzanian landscape, mighty Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain on the African continent. The mountain is composed of three dormant volcanic peaks, the highest of which is Kibo peak, which reaches an impressive altitude of over 19,000 feet above sea level.
The mountain is a renowned trekking and mountaineering destination and visitors come from all over the world to rise to the challenge of reaching Uhuru Peak, the highest summit on the rim of the Kibo Crater. The mountain is surrounded by Mount Kilimanjaro National Park and at lower altitudes trekkers may come across elephant, buffalo, and many other smaller animals. Many visitors who come to see Mount Kilimanjaro will combine their visit with a Big Five Safari in one or more of the nearby national parks and reserves.
12. Mount Everest, Nepal
|Photo The Conversation|
The highest summit on Earth, Mount Everest, stretches in the sky over the border of Nepal and China. Ascending this gigantic Himalayan peak is an impressive feat that few tried and even fewer achieved.
The first confirmed summiting occurred in 1953 and by 2013, 4,042 successful climbers had reached the summit. Visitors can enjoy the wonderful spectacle of the mountain by visiting Everest Base Camp, the departure point for climbers. You can hike up to Base Camp or take the eco-bus and include a visit to the Rongbuk Buddhist Monastery, the highest monastery in the world.
13. Grand Prismatic Spring, USA
Wyoming is home to many iconic natural wonders of the world, including Grand Teton National Park and Devils Tower National Monument, but it also has the world’s third-largest hot spring. The remarkable Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone National Park is the single largest hot spring in the park—it’s larger than a football field, so it’s hard to miss!
A feast for the eyes, the rainbow-colored hot spring has a deep blue center and orange spider legs radiating outward. Avoid the crowds by climbing up the new trail to an overlook on the nearby hillside; the 0.6-mile hike is worth the view.
14.Puerto Princesa Underground River, Philippines
One of the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is located in a protected national park in Palawan, about 50 miles north of Puerto Princesa City in the Philippines. The national park has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains the world’s most amazing limestone karst landscapes, which includes an 8-km underground river and cave system that opens directly into the sea.
For the adventure of your life, you can go on an escorted Underground River Tour, which will take you deep inside the cave system. Some tours offer an optional zipline experience after your Underground River Tour.
15. Cano Cristales - The River of Five Colors, Colombia
|Photo Zing News|
Located in the Serrania de la Macarena mountain range in Colombia, Cano Cristales is without doubt the most interesting river you will ever see. The amazing River of Five Colors fascinates visitors with an amazing display of bright colors resulting from a unique combination of natural forces.
The vibrant red color is formed by the Macarenia clavigera plant, which grows in the riverbed, while the other colors are contributed by the black rocks, green algae, brilliant blue water, and bright yellow sand. The river also features waterfalls, caverns, and pools, making it a desirable destination for all nature lovers. The best time to visit is between July and November.
16. Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
In a country that is liberally dotted with volcanoes, Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano is one of the most impressive. Arenal is a stratovolcano, meaning that it adheres to the typical symmetrical cone shape that one associates with a volcano, and at 5,437 feet it towers very impressively over the surrounding landscape. After a long dormant period, Arenal erupted violently in 1968, covering a vast area of over 15km in lava, rocks, and ash.
For several years after this dramatic eruption, Arenal regularly lit up the sky with smaller eruptions and has become a popular tourist attraction. The impressive volcano is surrounded by Arenal Volcano National Park, where you can go hiking in the rainforest, enjoy canopy tours and repelling adventures, or relax in a natural geothermal hot spring.
17. Table Mountain, South Africa
|Photo World Top Top|
The iconic flat-topped Table Mountain stands guard over one of the most interesting and diverse landscapes in the world in Cape Town, at the southernmost tip of the African continent. Table Mountain, which was selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2012, is surrounded by Table Mountain National Park, home to the Cape Floral Region, where many species of endemic plants, unique to the region, can be seen.
Table Mountain is a very popular hiking destination and you have the option of hiking to the summit and then taking the revolving cable-car back to the base. The mountain offers wonderful 360-degree views of the beautiful Cape Peninsula.
18. The Blue Grotto, Capri
The Blue Grotto (Grotto Azzura) was once a marine temple during the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Located on the Island of Capri off the coast of Sorrento, the name of the sea cave derives from the unusual bright blue color of the waters, which is caused by sunlight entering the cavern through an underwater opening directly above the cave entrance. (This impressive phenomenon is best observed around noon on a sunny day).
As your rowing boat drifts through the total darkness of the outer cavern, you will suddenly find yourself bathed in the brilliant blue light of the inner grotto – it is certainly a memorable experience. Weather permitting, tours operate all day, but demand is at its highest (and queues are longest) around midday.
19. Great Belize Blue Hole, Belize
This massive sinkhole is part of the Belize Barrier Reef, one of the most pristine reef ecosystems in the western hemisphere, and it’s a favorite spot for serious divers because of its incredible marine diversity. It’s also home to several shark species.
Translation: It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re an experienced diver, you won’t want to miss it. While you’re in Belize, make sure to check out Ambergris Caye, the largest island in the country.
20. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Also known as the Salt Flats, this extraordinary attraction is the world’s largest salt flat—the result of dried-up prehistoric lakes. June to August is the dry season, so more tourists visit during this time. But December to April is less crowded and amazing in a whole different way: When the rain hits the salt flats, it causes a glass- or mirror-like effect, which looks really cool in photos.
If you visit, keep in mind that the high-altitude flats are nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, so you may experience altitude sickness if you haven’t given yourself a few days to acclimate in town first.
Turkey’s amazing Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) is a truly unique natural wonder that was formed by calcite-laden waters from natural springs located on a cliff face, more than 600 feet above the plains. As the waters made their way down the steep cliffs they left a series of brilliant white travertine terraces and basins filled with warm azure waters, petrified waterfalls, and unique mineral forests.
Close to this amazing natural wonder you will find a brilliantly preserved man-made wonder, the ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman spa-town of Hierapolis, which include bath-houses, temples, colonnaded streets, and much more. Come and bathe in the ancient mineral-rich waters and admire the remarkable levels of sophistication that existed so long ago.
22. Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia
Australia’s most iconic natural wonder, Uluru (Ayers Rock) is a massive sandstone mountain located in the country’s arid Northern Territory, close to the town of Alice Springs. The monolith is protected by Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which includes a further 36 red rock domes which visitors can explore on foot along one of several hiking trails or on a guided tour.
Uluru is sacred to native Australians and climbing on the rock is not permitted, but there are several other ways to enjoy the unique location, including getting an aerial view from a helicopter or plane. Highlights of any visit include watching a sunrise or sunset over the rock, visiting the Cultural Center, and simply enjoying the beautiful location and spiritual atmosphere of Uluru.
23.Victoria Falls, Zambia-Zimbabwe
|Photo India Times|
The locals call Victoria Falls “Mosi oa Tunya” or “the smoke that thunders” for the spectacular spectacle provided by the world’s largest curtain of falling water, which causes a thunderous noise and a cloud of vapor which can be seen from several miles away. The falls are nearly one and a quarter miles wide and drop over 300 feet into a narrow gorge below. Victoria Falls are located on the Zambezi River on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and can be visited from both sides of the border.
The area around Victoria Falls is renowned as the Adventure Capital of Southern Africa and visitors can try their hand at everything from bungee jumping and whitewater rafting to canopy adventures, canyoning, rappelling, and much more. There are also wonderful national parks on both sides of the border, where you can go on a Big Five Safari adventure.
24. Zhangjiajie, China
Famous for its huge peaks, unstable bridges, and deep caves, Zhangjiajie is China's first national forest park. Its mountains inspired the imaginary Hallelujah Mountains in James Cameron's hit movie Avatar.
The park includes over 3,000 towering tree-topped quartzite sandstone pillars reaching for the clouds (some are as tall as 2,600 feet), while at ground level you will find verdant forests and beautiful streams waiting to be discovered.
25. Waitaki Whitestone Park, New Zealand
It’s hard to pick just one natural wonder in New Zealand, but Waitaki Whitestone Park tops the list. With picturesque rolling green hills, scenic cycling trails, and an abundance of wildlife, this park just may be the most gorgeous outdoor wonderland you’ll ever play in. Walk, bike, or drive through the park, and as you do, be on the lookout for unique rock formations.
FYI, this New Zealand gem won’t be flying under the radar for much longer because it’s up for UNESCO assessment this year.
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