Reaction to the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World

New 7 Wonder Uluru

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.

What do you think of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World?

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

6 Responses

  1. Samantha

    Hi Matt, any ‘competition’ like this is always going to be a contentious one and to try and name just 7 Natural Wonders always meant some that perhaps should have been in the final 7 didnt make it. However hopefully what has happened is that through the marketing of this competition throughout the media globally many places that hadnt been heard of before will now have received publicity that they typically wouldn’t have got – obviously whether this is a good thing or not is another contentious point as I would hate to see some natural wonders spoilt by potential tourists and the inability to control access to some of these wonders. As someone that is involved intravel to south africa I am obviously pleased to Table Mountain make the top 7 but to be honest there are many other natural wonders in South Africa such as the Drakensberg Mountains which are absolutely beautiful but will never be as iconic as Table Mountain. Keep up the good writing I enjoyed reading your article.

  2. Red

    I think you know my stance on this competition Matt, but I agree that the results were disappointing. It is really just a glorified popularity contest with no real criteria for being judged fairly. If you take time to actually look into the organization that runs the competition, it gets even murkier. I wrote a post on it last month that uncovered some odd issues with the running of the competition. Did you know Indonesia pulled out of the competition and removed Komodo in August? The Maldives pulled out too. But both times to 7 Wonders guys just found new people to ‘pay’ and support for their listings.

    • Matt Long

      Yes, sadly I had heard this. A few people have begun writing about it as well. Too bad, it’s not a bad idea.

      • Red

        Very true, it is a great concept if done fairly and transparently. Perhaps the new ‘Cities’ competition will be done in better fashion.

  3. nick0lson

    I think it’s great that the New7Wonders Foundation is starting conversations all over the world and shining a spotlight on these amazing places. Like any “Top 7” list based on votes, I think it’s best to think of it as a conversation-starter and to compare our own thoughts and experiences. After all, the real authority is us!

    Great post!

  4. Joe

    The same sort of vote bias is going to happen with the “New Seven Wonders – Cities”. Look at some of the top-voted cities by region…. it’s like “huh?”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them in the final list, however undeserving.


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