Seven wonders of the natural world are those which every nature lover in the world wishes to see in his or her lifetime. They are indeed worth the wish as it is not for just any reason that these natural wonders have been chosen to be the ‘wonders’.
There has been quite some controversy about which ones to enlist and which not to enlist. Some feel seven is too small a number to include the vast collection of natural wonders. However, here is a list that has been somewhat accepted by the majority.
1. Aurora Borealis, Canada
Aurora Borealis is undoubtedly the greatest and most spectacular natural phenomenon that a person can behold. Though the lights appear frequently as faint glow in the horizon, the real spectacle starts when the sky fills with glowing sheets of dancing waves of lights. It is an ethereal experience.
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This is also known as the Polar Lights. Though it is visible in both the poles the Northern lights are the more notable ones. The best place to see the lights are from areas near the magnetic pole, and this point lies in one of the arctic islands of Canada.
Though the appearance of the lights cannot be predicted, the time between March and April and September and October can be termed the times when most of these occur. The best place to enjoy them is by standing right beneath them in a vast open space.
2. Grand Canyon, USA
Grand Canyon is always grand and anybody who has visited it will never deny that. The canyon is 277 miles long, over a mile deep and ranges from 4 to 18 miles in width.
It is a massive gorge cut by the Colorado River. Though these huge measurements still do not give the first place to the Grand Canyon for being the longest canyon in the world, the sheer mass and beauty of the place finds it a place among the top natural wonders.
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The most spectacular view of the Canyon is visible from the Toroweap Overlook which is accessible through dirt routes from St. George, Colorado City and Pipe Spring National Monument. One can also get great view from Lipan Point where the different rock strata are more visible.
3. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Great Barrier Reef is the largest individual formation by any living organism that is visible from the outer space. This is also the largest coral reef system in the world. There are over 900 islands and 2900 individual reefs that make up this natural wonder. The abundant and innumerable varieties of corals, fishes and marine life are best enjoyed by snorkeling and scuba diving.
For enjoying the reef over an extended period there are floating guest facilities on the reef. There are also cruises ranging from one day to several days for enjoying this spectacular formation.
4. Harbour of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The harbor at Rio de Janeiro is also known as Guanabara Bay. This is the largest bay in terms of the volume of water present. The beauty of the harbor lies in the spectacular granite monolith mountains that surround it from three sides and the most famous of these are the Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak and Tijuca hills.
The harbor was the result of natural erosion and now it has quite a few islands scattered in the harbor. For a total view of the harbor, make sure to climb the hills, or get on a helicopter or, if you are adventurous enough, fly in a hang glider. The famous statue of Christ the Redeemer is on the Corcovado Mountain.
5. Mount Everest, Nepal
Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world and for this alone it gets a place among the natural wonders of the world. Its peak stands at 8848 meters and this is the highest point on the surface of the earth. Lying between the countries of Nepal and China, the mountain is also known by the name of Chomolungma.
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Seeing Mount Everest can be of varying degrees. One can see it from distance as one of the mountains in a mountain range; trek to the base camp for a closer look or be a hard core mountaineer to climb to the summit. However, the climb to the advanced camps or higher will be only possible after buying a ticket from the Government of Nepal.
6. Paricutin, Mexico
Paricutin is the youngest volcano in the Americas and people have seen its birth and that is why it found its place in the list of seven wonders of natural world. The volcano last erupted in 1952 and it grew up to three-fourth of its height in the first year of its birth.
A trip up to the top offers great views of an active volcano from close. The trek to the top is a strenuous one but one can always hire a horse for the trip. Biking on the slopes of lava fields and sandy banks is a great adventure sport and it attracts lots of enthusiasts. One can visit Paricutin at any time of the year.
7. Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Mosi-oa-Tunya, the ‘smoke that thunders’, is what the Victoria Falls is often called and there are great many reasons for calling it so. It is the largest waterfall in terms of height and width and the largest continuous sheet of falling water. The Zambezi River falls off the cliff to form one the most spectacular waterfalls in the world and it has every right to claim a place as one of the seven wonders of the natural world.
It is recommended that if possible one should try to have a look at the waterfalls from all angles to experience the true grandeur. it is also said that that another view should be taken from the air on a helicopter or a microlite.
A lucky person may also catch a glimpse of the wildlife in the surrounding national parks. Though the falls have more water in the rainy season, a visit in the drier seasons offers a more spectacular view with the rock faces jutting out.