In 2007, the New7Wonders Foundation began a global campaign to identify the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The effort immediately followed their previous campaign to identify the New Seven Wonders of the World. On November 11, 2011, the Foundation announced the winners of the four-year effort.
The New 7 Natural Wonders as announced by the foundation are:
- The Amazon, South America
- Halong Bay, Vietnam
- Jeju Island, South Korea
- Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina
- Komodo Island, Indonesia
- Table Mountain, South Africa
- Puerto Princesa Underground River, Philippines
First, let me be clear, I don’t want to take away anything from the winners. They are each amazing natural wonders, just like the other 21 finalists, and are certainly worthy of honor. But I’m wondering if a few others weren’t perhaps a little more deserving?
Without saying which ones I would remove, I strongly believe that the Dead Sea, the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru should have made the final seven. I won’t explain my reasoning, but each are true wonders of the world. And that’s part of the problem I guess.
By launching this campaign as a voting contest, it’s a given that the results won’t ever be accepted by the global community. The same thing happened when they announced the New Seven Wonders of the World. Just as then, there is controversy regarding payments received by the foundation, the validity of having such a prestigious list be a popularity contest and so on.
Ultimately, the people who live in the countries where these wonders are found and people who have visited them are biased in their favor. I’m the same way, I readily admit that. Is the only reason I support the Dead Sea and Uluru for the final seven because I’ve been to both? No, but it heavily influences my decision.
That’s why it’s impossible to really come up with a universally accepted list of the top seven most impressive sites in the world. It’s only human nature to be biased towards what is familiar and known to us, and to try to pretend otherwise is silly.
So instead of only lauding the top seven winners, all of which are completely deserving of the honor, I think we should all take the time to visit and recognize areas of natural beauty and wonder whenever and wherever we can. There are countless sites worthy of recognition and conservation around the world and the list is certainly greater than seven.
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