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What are the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World?

The Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World are awe-inspiring landmarks that showcase Earth's extraordinary beauty. From the majestic Grand Canyon to the ethereal Northern Lights, each wonder tells a story of time, nature, and the sublime. Discover how these marvels were chosen and what makes them truly spectacular. Ready to explore these wonders further? Let's embark on this breathtaking journey together.
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

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
Natural WonderLocationDescription
Grand CanyonArizona, USAThis huge canyon was created by millions of years of erosion and established as a US national park in 1919.
Northern LightsThe skyAlso 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. EverestThe Himalayan Range, bordering Nepal and ChinaThe first recorded climb was achieved by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay on 29 May 1953.
ParicutinMexicoThis young volcano, which was “born” in 1943, was — unlike most other volcanoes — observed in the making.
Harbor at Rio de JaneiroBrazilThe harbor, punctuated by mountains, was home to Tupi Indians before the arrival of Portuguese explorers in 1502.
Victoria FallsBorder between Zambia and ZimbabweNamed for his queen by Scottish missionary David Livingstone in 1855, the falls are 1.25 miles (2 km) wide.
Great Barrier ReefAustraliaThis 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:

Pistyll Rhaeadr and Wrexham steeple,
Snowdon's mountain without its people,
Overton Yew-trees, St. Winifred wells,
Llangollen Bridge and Gresford bells
Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.
Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World?

Niagara Falls is sometimes mentioned as an alternative to the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World.
Niagara Falls is sometimes mentioned as an alternative to the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World.

The Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World are a list of extraordinary natural sites known for their breathtaking beauty and uniqueness. They include the Amazon Rainforest, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo Island, Puerto Princesa Underground River, and Table Mountain. These wonders were chosen through global polls and expert panels to represent the most spectacular natural treasures of our planet.

How were the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World selected?

The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World.
The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World.

The selection process for the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World involved both public voting and decisions made by experts in natural science and conservation. The New7Wonders Foundation, which also organized the campaign for the New Seven Wonders of the World, initiated this effort to raise awareness of the world's natural beauty and the importance of preserving it.

What makes the Amazon Rainforest a natural wonder of the modern world?

Huge volcanic explosions happened at Krakatoa Island, which is located in Indonesia.
Huge volcanic explosions happened at Krakatoa Island, which is located in Indonesia.

The Amazon Rainforest is recognized as a natural wonder due to its immense biodiversity and its role as the "lungs of the Earth." It spans over 5.5 million square kilometers and houses approximately 10% of the known species on Earth, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Its vast network of ecosystems plays a crucial role in regulating the global climate and is vital for the survival of our planet.

Can you visit all the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World?

Some sources list Crater Lake in Oregon as a contender for the Natural Wonders of the Modern World list.
Some sources list Crater Lake in Oregon as a contender for the Natural Wonders of the Modern World list.

Yes, all the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World are accessible to visitors, though some may require special permits or guided tours due to their protected status. For example, Komodo Island, known for the Komodo dragon, is part of Komodo National Park in Indonesia and visitors can explore it with authorized tour operators to ensure the protection of the wildlife and their habitat.

What efforts are being made to preserve the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World?

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world.

Conservation efforts for these natural wonders are ongoing and vary by location. Many are protected as national parks or UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which helps to regulate tourism and fund conservation initiatives. For instance, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its management includes measures to protect its unique ecosystem and geological formations from human impact.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to CulturalWorld about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to CulturalWorld about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Learn more...

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Discussion Comments

anon340591

I want to say the Amazon rainforest is also a wonder of the world. The Amazon Rainforest covers 5,500,000 sq km of the 7 million sq km of the Amazon forests. It represents more than half of the tropical forest remaining in the world, and has the greatest collection of plant and animal life. It covers the majority of the Amazon Basin and the high temperatures of the area are favorable for its biodiversity.

medicchristy

@momothree: The walls of the Grand Canyon are made up of cliffs, rocks, valleys, and hills. The rocks are said to have been formed millions of years ago.

Almost 4000 years ago, desert people lived in the Grand Canyon. Adobe houses were built around the canyon by the Pueblo Indians. There are around 75 different species of mammals, 25 species of fish, 300 species of birds, and 50 species of reptiles that habitat the Grand Canyon.

DinoLeash

@momothree: You are making a great choice in your vacation plans! The Grand Canyon is one of the magnificent places in our whole country.

The Grand Canyon is located in Arizona and stretches all the way to Colorado. It is a national landmark and a national park. It is 18 miles wide. An average depth of the canyon is around 5,000 feet. The Grand Canyon takes up a whopping 1,218,376 acres of land. To go down to the bottle of the canyon on foot or by camel (they have guided camel tours), it would take 2 days.

momothree

We are going to be visiting the Grand Canyon in a couple of months. I am so excited to be able to see such a spectacular place. I am trying to find out as much as I can before we go. Does anyone have any info on the Grand Canyon that I might could use?

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    • Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.
      By: Göran (Kartläsarn)
      Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.
    • Niagara Falls is sometimes mentioned as an alternative to the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World.
      By: karlsson_photo
      Niagara Falls is sometimes mentioned as an alternative to the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World.
    • The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World.
      By: sumikophoto
      The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World.
    • Huge volcanic explosions happened at Krakatoa Island, which is located in Indonesia.
      By: nicolasdumeige
      Huge volcanic explosions happened at Krakatoa Island, which is located in Indonesia.
    • Some sources list Crater Lake in Oregon as a contender for the Natural Wonders of the Modern World list.
      By: Chris Boswell
      Some sources list Crater Lake in Oregon as a contender for the Natural Wonders of the Modern World list.
    • Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world.
      By: StrangerView
      Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world.
    • The northern lights are caused by the interaction between the Earth's magnetic field and solar winds.
      By: Beelix
      The northern lights are caused by the interaction between the Earth's magnetic field and solar winds.