The Seven Ancient and Natural Wonders of The World

In 2000 a Swiss foundation launched a campaign to determine the New Seven Wonders of the World. Given that the original Seven Wonders list was compiled in the 2nd century BCE—and that only one entrant is still standing (the Pyramids of Giza)—it seemed time for an update. And people around the world apparently agreed, as more than 100 million votes were cast on the Internet or by text messaging. The final results, which were announced in 2007, were met with cheers as well as some jeers—a number of prominent contenders, such as Athens’s Acropolis, failed to make the cut.

New Seven Wonders of the World

  • Great Wall of China
  • Petra
  • Colosseum
  • Chichen Itza
  • Machu Picchu
  • Taj Mahal
  • Christ the Redeemer

1. Great Pyramid of Giza - Egypt

Great Pyramid of Giza - Egypt

Address: Al Haram, Nazlet El-Semman, Al Giza Desert, Giza Governorate, Egypt

Height: 139 m

Constructed: c. 2580–2560 BC (4th dynasty)

Architect: Hemiunu

Materials: Limestone, Granite, Basalt, Mortar

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering present-day Giza in Greater Cairo, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.

There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. The lowest chamber is cut into the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built and was unfinished. The so-called[2] Queen's Chamber and King's Chamber are higher up within the pyramid structure. The main part of the Giza complex is a set of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honour of Khufu (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile), three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives, an even smaller "satellite" pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small mastaba tombs for nobles surrounding the pyramid.

2. Great Wall of China - China

Great Wall of China - China

Address: Huairou District, China

Length: 21,196 km

Size: 21,196 km (13,171 mi)

Designated: 1987 (11th session)

The Great Wall of China is the collective name of a series of fortification systems generally built across the historical northern borders of China to protect and consolidate territories of Chinese states and empires against various nomadic groups of the steppe and their polities. Several walls were being built from as early as the 7th century BC by ancient Chinese states; selective stretches were later joined together by Qin Shi Huang (220–206 BC), the first emperor of China. Little of the Qin wall remains. Later on, many successive dynasties have built and maintained multiple stretches of border walls. The most well-known sections of the wall were built by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

3. Petra - Ma'an, Jordan

Petra - Ma'an, Jordan

Address: Jordan

Elevation: 810 m (2,657 ft)

Built: possibly as early as 5th century BC

Petra is a famous archaeological site in Jordan's southwestern desert. Dating to around 300 B.C., it was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. Accessed via a narrow canyon called Al Siq, it contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs, earning its nickname, the "Rose City." Perhaps its most famous structure is 45m-high Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade, and known as The Treasury.

4. Colosseum - Rome, Italy

Colosseum - Rome, Italy

Address: Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

Construction started: 70 AD

Height: 48 m

Area: 2 ha

The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of travertine limestone, tuff (volcanic rock), and brick-faced concrete, it was the largest amphitheatre ever built at the time and held 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. The Colosseum is just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir, Titus. Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (81–96). These three emperors are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name (Flavius).

5. Chichen Itza - Yucatán, Mexico

Chichen Itza - Yucatán, Mexico

Location‎: ‎Yucatán, Mexico

Periods‎: ‎Late Classic to Early Postclassic

State Party‎: ‎Mexico

Cultures‎: ‎Maya civilization

Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from the Late Classic (c. AD 600–900) through the Terminal Classic (c. AD 800–900) and into the early portion of the Postclassic period (c. AD 900–1200). The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the Northern Maya lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion.

6. Machu Picchu - Cuzco Region, Peru

Machu Picchu - Cuzco Region, Peru

Address: 08680, Peru

Elevation: 2,430 m

Abandoned: 1572

Founded: c. 1450

Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.

7a. Taj Mahal - Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Taj Mahal - Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Built‎: ‎1632–53

Architectural style: ‎Mughal architecture

Built for‎: ‎Mumtaz Mahal

Location‎: ‎Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.

7b. Christ the Redeemer - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Location: Corcovado mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Material: Soapstone

Width: 28 metres (92 ft)

Height: 30 metres (98 ft), 38 metres (125 ft) with its pedestal

Completion date: Dedicated October 12, 1931

Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face. Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 metres (98 ft) high, excluding its 8-metre (26 ft) pedestal. The arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide.

Seven Natural Wonders of the World

  • Grand Canyon
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
  • Aurora Borealis
  • Mount Everest
  • Victoria Falls
  • Parícutin Volcano

Seven Natural Wonders is an organization that was created with the mission of protecting and promoting the natural wonders of the world. The project was launched in 2008 in response to the New 7 Wonders efforts to change the natural wonders of the world. A natural wonder must be a clearly defined natural site or natural monument that was not created or significantly altered by humans. Each of the original seven natural wonders is in existence today and they all provide visitors with amazement and wonder.

1. Grand Canyon - USA

Grand Canyon - USA

Address: Arizona, United States

Area: 4,926 km²

Hours: Open 24 hours

Established: 26 February 1919

Phone: +1 928-638-7888

Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona, is home to much of the immense Grand Canyon, with its layered bands of red rock revealing millions of years of geological history. Viewpoints include Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station and architect Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio and her Desert View Watchtower. Lipan Point, with wide views of the canyon and Colorado River, is a popular, especially at sunrise and sunset.

2. Great Barrier Reef - Australia

Great Barrier Reef - Australia

Area: 348,700 km²

Location: Off the east coast of the Queensland mainland, Australia

UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription: 1981

UNESCO Site Id: 154

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

3. Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Area: 412 km²

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Max. width: 28 km (17 mi)

Ocean/sea source: Atlantic Ocean

The harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is recognized as one of the "seven natural wonders of the world." Also known as Guanabara Bay, the harbor is easily accessible by ships and surrounded by tall mountains. Guanabara Bay is an oceanic bay located in Southeast Brazil in the state of Rio de Janeiro. On its western shore lies the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Duque de Caxias, and on its eastern shore the cities of Niterói and São Gonçalo. Four other municipalities surround the bay's shores. Guanabara Bay is the second largest bay in area in Brazil (after the All Saints' Bay), at 412 square kilometres (159 sq mi), with a perimeter of 143 kilometres (89 mi).

Guanabara Bay is 31 kilometres (19 mi) long and 28 kilometres (17 mi) wide at its maximum. Its 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) wide mouth is flanked at the eastern tip by the Pico do Papagaio (Parrot's Peak) and the western tip by Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf).

The name Guanabara comes from the Tupi language, goanã-pará, from gwa "bay", plus nã "similar to" and ba'ra "sea". Traditionally, it is also translated as "the bosom of sea".

4. Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis

An aurora, sometimes referred to as polar lights, northern lights, or southern lights, is a natural light display in the Earth's sky, predominantly seen in high-latitude regions. Auroras are the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind. Auroras are the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind. These disturbances are sometimes strong enough to alter the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma. These particles, mainly electrons and protons, precipitate into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere).

The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emit light of varying color and complexity. The form of the aurora, occurring within bands around both polar regions, is also dependent on the amount of acceleration imparted to the precipitating particles. Precipitating protons generally produce optical emissions as incident hydrogen atoms after gaining electrons from the atmosphere. Proton auroras are usually observed at lower latitudes.

5. Mount Everest

Mount Everest

Elevation: 8,848 m

Normal route: southeast ridge (Nepal)

Location: Solukhumbu District, Province No. 1, Nepal; Tingri County, Xigazê, Tibet Autonomous Region, China

First ascenders: Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay

Countries: Nepal, China

Mountain range: Himalayas, Mahalangur Himal

Mount Everest is Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The China–Nepal border runs across its summit point.

Mount Everest attracts many climbers, some of them highly experienced mountaineers. There are two main climbing routes, one approaching the summit from the southeast in Nepal (known as the "standard route") and the other from the north in Tibet. While not posing substantial technical climbing challenges on the standard route, Everest presents dangers such as altitude sickness, weather, and wind, as well as significant hazards from avalanches and the Khumbu Icefall. As of 2019, over 300 people have died on Everest, many of whose bodies remain on the mountain.

The first recorded efforts to reach Everest's summit were made by British mountaineers. As Nepal did not allow foreigners to enter the country at the time, the British made several attempts on the north ridge route from the Tibetan side. After the first reconnaissance expedition by the British in 1921 reached 7,000 m (22,970 ft) on the North Col, the 1922 expedition pushed the north ridge route up to 8,320 m (27,300 ft), marking the first time a human had climbed above 8,000 m (26,247 ft). Seven porters were killed in an avalanche on the descent from the North Col. The 1924 expedition resulted in one of the greatest mysteries on Everest to this day: George Mallory and Andrew Irvine made a final summit attempt on 8 June but never returned, sparking debate as to whether or not they were the first to reach the top. 

They had been spotted high on the mountain that day but disappeared in the clouds, never to be seen again, until Mallory's body was found in 1999 at 8,155 m (26,755 ft) on the north face. Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary made the first official ascent of Everest in 1953, using the southeast ridge route. Norgay had reached 8,595 m (28,199 ft) the previous year as a member of the 1952 Swiss expedition. The Chinese mountaineering team of Wang Fuzhou, Gonpo, and Qu Yinhua made the first reported ascent of the peak from the north ridge on 25 May 1960.

6. Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Location: Livingstone, Zambia, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Type: Cataract waterfall

Total height: 108 m (355 ft)

Number of drops: 2

Watercourse: Zambezi River

Average: flow rate 1088 m3/s (38,430 cu ft/s)

Victoria Falls is a waterfall on the Zambezi River in southern Africa, which provides habitat for several unique species of plants and animals. It is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is considered to be one of the world's largest waterfalls due to its width of 1,708 metres (5,604 ft).

7. Parícutin Volcano - Mexico

Parícutin Volcano - Mexico

Last eruption: 1952

Elevation: 2,800 m

First ascent: 1943

Prominence: 208 m

Parícutin is a cinder cone volcano located in the Mexican state of Michoacán, near the city of Uruapan and about 322 kilometers west of Mexico City. The volcano surged suddenly from the cornfield of local farmer Dionisio Pulido in 1943, attracting both popular and scientific attention.

See alsoThe Top 10 Best Museums in London


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