Can you guess the 7 Wonders of the Natural World?

16 July 2015

We bet you can't name the 7 Wonders of the Natural World

You probably think you can name the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.

But we bet you can't.

Try it. Start bandying around suggestions. What have got?

The Grand Canyon?  Nope.

The Great Barrier Reef?  No, not on the list.

They're not as obvious as you might think.

The list we're using here was compiled by the New 7 Wonders Foundation in 2011 using the results of a global poll of over 100 million votes.

Compiling the list was not without controversy – there were allegations of corruption (with Indonesia threatening to withdraw) and there was no strategy in place to prevent repeat voting – which may have led to some potential-tourism-dollars vote-stacking.

Notable finalists that didn't make the cut include the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, Matterhorn, Ayers Rock, Milford Sound, Mt Kilimanjaro, Angel Falls and the Dead Sea. That is a tough list of contenders.

Anyway, whether or not the list is an accurate reflection of global opinion, it sure names some pretty wondrous places. Places that Mother Nature was working overtime to create. So, here we go... the 7 Wonders of the Natural World. How many would you have named?

Iguazu Falls

Sitting on the border between Brazil and Argentina, Iguazu Falls gushes over a 2.7 kilometre length of cliff. Iguazu Falls doesn't compare very favourably by the statistics – other waterfalls are wider, higher or have more water. So why does Iguazu make the cut?

Because it is stunning. Its curving J-shaped cliff allows for loads of great viewing points – and an awesome network of walkways and platforms for viewing the falls has been built on both sides of the border.

Jeju Island

A popular destination for South Korean and Chinese tourists, Jeju Island is a volcanic masterpiece perched in the sea south of South Korea. Extensive lava tube caves, dramatic rock formations, craters, waterfalls, rugged coastline and beautiful beaches work together to create a striking environment.

Halong Bay

In the far north of Vietnam lies perhaps the most-photographed bay in Asia – Halong Bay. It makes the list because of the almost 2000 limestone mini-islands that jut spectacularly from its waters.

Legend has it that the gods sent a family of dragons to protect Vietnam.  The dragons threw down jewels that turned into rocky islands, blocking the way of the invading boats. After winning the battle, the dragons decided to stay in the bay area. OK, so, you might not actually see the dragons – but the islands are still there if you need proof of the legend.

Table Mountain

If you see the striking silhouette of Table Mountain, there's no doubting where you are. The iconic plateau strikes a proud pose against the skyline of Cape Town in South Africa. The top of the 'table' is often covered with clouds, known as 'the tablecloth' – isn't that cu-ute! The cliffs that surround the plateau are popular for hiking, rockclimbing, caving and mountain biking – or, for the more sofa-inclined, you can just sit on the beach and look at it.

Komodo Island

Komodo Island in Indonesia is home to the Komodo Dragon – which are the largest lizards on the planet. (That's on the planet earth. That's obviously not including lizards on other dragon-inhabited planets that might be out there.)

The island has a pink-sand beach, which is pretty unusual. And those big lizards. But top 7 in the world? We are, frankly, a tad unconvinced. (No offence to the lizards. We're not looking for some kind of intergalactic dragon rebellion here.)

Puerto Princesa Underground River

The island nation of the Philippines is home to many places of astounding beauty. But the one that is recognised in this list is the amazing Puerto Princesa Subterranean River – 8 kilometres of underground river that runs through a complex of caves with waterfalls, bat-filled caverns, stalagmites and stalactites.

Amazon Rainforest

There is no doubting the place of the Amazon Rainforest on this list. A truly important, beautiful and amazing region of global eco-significance. It is seven million square kilometres of the most bio-diverse rainforest on the planet, following the Amazon River on its journey through nine countries in South America.  Now, if that doesn't top the list of natural wonders, we're not sure what does.


And remember our little wager?

So. Our bet. Did you know all seven?