Probably in response to the seven wonders of the ancient world, and perhaps also to the American Society of Civil Engineers seven wonders of the modern world, several lists naming the seven natural wonders of the modern world have been created. The following list is typical, if not authoritative:
|SEVEN NATURAL WONDERS OF THE MODERN WORLD|
|Grand Canyon||Arizona, USA||This huge canyon was created by millions of years of erosion and established as a US national park in 1919.|
|Northern Lights||The sky||Also called the aurora borealis, the northern lights are caused by the interaction of Earth’s magnetic field with the particles in the solar wind.|
|Mt. Everest||The Himalayan Range, bordering Nepal and China||The first recorded climb was achieved by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay on 29 May 1953.|
|Paricutin||Mexico||This young volcano, which was “born” in 1943, was — unlike most other volcanoes — observed in the making.|
|Harbor at Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||The harbor, punctuated by mountains, was home to Tupi Indians before the arrival of Portuguese explorers in 1502.|
|Victoria Falls||Border between Zambia and Zimbabwe||Named for his queen by Scottish missionary David Livingstone in 1855, the falls are 1.25 miles (2 km) wide.|
|Great Barrier Reef||Australia||This coral reef is 1,242 miles (2,000 km) long, threatened by pollution and host to a wide variety of ocean life.|
Other contenders for the list mentioned in other sources include the following — notice how many are falls and mountains:
- Natural Bridge, a rock formation in Rockbridge Country, Virginia.
- Table Mountain, a 3,567 ft (1,087 m) flat-topped mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
- Reelfoot Lake, in Tennessee, which was apparently created by the New Madrid earthquakes in 1811-12.
- Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the US, formed by a volcanic crater in the Cascade Range in Oregon.
- Yosemite Falls, a series of waterfalls in Yosemite National Park in California.
- Mauna Loa, an active volcano 13,680 ft (4.172 m) tall in Hawaii.
- Niagara Falls, the 158 ft (48 m) falls between New York and Canada.
- Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall, located in in Venezuela.
- The Bay of Fundy, between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada, and which is noted for its tides.
- Iguassu Falls, a group of hundreds of waterfalls on the Brazil/Argentina border.
- Krakatoa Island, the volcanic island in Indonesia where a huge volcanic explosion in 1883 and the following tsunami were responsible for many deaths.
- Mount Fuji, a volcanic mountain that is the highest in Japan at 12,389 (3776 m).
- Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain of Africa, located in Tanzania and reaching 17,564 ft (5,354 m).
There are also more localized lists, including the traditional seven wonders of Wales named in the nursery rhyme:
Snowdon's mountain without its people,
Overton Yew-trees, St. Winifred wells,
Llangollen Bridge and Gresford bells
Obviously, the steeple, wells, bridge, and bells were made by humans, but the 240 ft (74 m) waterfall Pistyll Rhaeadr, Mt. Snowdon in Snowdonia National Park in Northwest Wales, and the 21 famous yew trees in the churchyard of St. Mary’s Church in Overton are all natural wonders of the modern world.
Another take-off is the extended list. There are several “100 wonders of the world” lists on the Internet, and nearly all feature a combination of built and natural modern wonders.