02 November 2012

28 Finalists - Natural Wonders

New7Wonders of Nature Finalists Map


1. Amazon -Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela 


The Amazon Rainforest, also known as Amazonia, the Amazon jungle or the Amazon Basin, encompasses seven million square kilometers (1.7 billion acres), though the forest itself occupies some 5.5 million square kilometers (1.4 billion acres), located within nine nations. The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests and comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world. The Amazon River is the largest river in the world by volume, with a total flow greater than the top ten rivers worldwide combined. It accounts for approximately one-fifth of the total world river flow and has the biggest drainage basin on the planet. Not a single bridge crosses the Amazon

2.Angel Falls
Angel Falls is the highest waterfall in the world, at 1,002 m, and is located in the Canaima National Park in Bolivar State, along Venezuela’s border with Brazil. It is more than 19 times higher than Niagara Falls. The uninterrupted descent of water falls 807 m.

3. Bay of Fundy
The Bay of Fundy is renowned for having the highest tides on the planet (16.2 metres or 53 feet). One hundred billion tonnes of sea water flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy twice daily – more water than the combined flow of all the world’s fresh water rivers. Fundy’s extreme tides create a dynamic and diverse marine ecosystem. The Bay is renowned for its coastal rock formations, extreme tidal effects (vertical, horizontal, rapids and bores) and sustainable coastal development. It is also a critical international feeding ground for migratory birds, a vibrant habitat for rare and endangered Right whales, and one of the world’s most significant plant and animal fossil discovery regions. The Bay of Fundy is located between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on North America’s east coast.

4. Black Forest Germany 
 

Black Forest (Schwarzwald) is a wooded mountain range in southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the mountain Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 meters. The region is almost rectangular with a length of 200 km and breadth of 60 km

5. Bu Tinah Island-United Arab Emirates
 

Off the western shores of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates,  lies a unique natural treasure, wild and undisturbed by human activity: Bu Tinah Island. Bu Tinah’s thriving ecosystem forms a unique living laboratory with key significance for climate change research. An undisturbed paradise, Bu Tinah has much to teach mankind about environmental protection and survival. This distinctive natural habitat has shallow waters, seagrass beds and tall mangroves, set amid extensive coral reefs. It hosts beautiful and endangered marine life. Seabirds, including flamingos and osprey, various species of dolphins and the critically endangered hawksbill turtle live in Bu Tinah. The island’s waters host the world’s second-largest population of dugong, a large marine mammal that is threatened worldwide. Bu Tinah Island, rich in biodiversity, lies within the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve - the region's largest marine reserve. Its protection and survival must be ensured.

6. Cliffs of Moher-Ireland 
Located in county Clare, the Cliffs of Moher are amongst the most impressive places to see in Ireland. The cliffs consist mainly of beds of Namurian shale and sandstone, with the oldest rocks being found at the bottom of the cliffs. One can see 300 million year old river channels cutting through the base of the cliffs.There are many animals living on the cliffs, most of them birds.

7. Dead Sea-Israel, Jordan, Palestine 

The Dead Sea is a salt lake between Palestine and Israel to the west and Jordan to the east. At 420 metres below sea level, its shores are the lowest point on Earth that are on dry land. With 30 percent salinity, it is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean.

8. El Yunque-Puerto Rico
El Yunque National Forest, formerly known as the Caribbean National Forest, is located on the island of Puerto Rico. It is also the name of the second highest mountain peak in the Forest. El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System.

9. Galapagos-Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator, 965 kilometres west of continental Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are all part of Ecuador's national park system. They are famed for their vast number of endemic species.

10. Grand Canyon-USA

The Grand Canyon, created by the Colorado River over a period of 6 million years, is 446 km long, ranges in width from 6 to 29 km and attains a depth of more than 1.6 km. During prehistory, the area was inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves.

11.Great Barrier Reef-Australia, Papua New Guinea 
The Great Barrier Reef is the planet’s largest coral reef system, with some 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for 2,600 km over an area of approximately 344,400 square km. It is the biggest single structure made by living creatures and can be seen from outer space.

12. Halong Bay-Viet Nam
Halong Bay is located in Quáng Ninh province, Vietnam. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. The bay has a 120 kilometre long coastline and is approximately 1,553 square kilometres in size with 1969 islets. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves, other support floating villages of fishermen, who ply the shallow waters for 200 species of fish and 450 different kinds of mollusks. Another specific feature of Halong Bay is the abundance of lakes inside the limestone islands, for example, Dau Be island has six enclosed lakes. All these island lakes occupy drowned dolines within fengcong karst.

13..Iguazu Falls-Argentina, Brazil 
Iguazu Falls, in Iguazu River, are one of the world's largest waterfalls. They extend over 2,700 m (nearly 2 miles)  in a semi-circular shape.  Of the 275 falls that collectively make up Iguassu Falls, "Devil's Throat" is the tallest at 80 m in height. Iguazu Falls are on the border between the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentine province of Misiones, and are surrounded by two National Parks (BR/ARG). Both are subtropical rainforests that are host to hundreds of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.
14.Jeita Grotto-Lebanon

Jeita Grotto is a compound of crystallized caves in Lebanon located 20 km north of Beirut in the Valley of Nahr al-Kalb (Dog River). This grotto is made up of two limestone caves, upper galleries and a lower cave through which a 6230 m long river runs. Geologically, the caves provide a tunnel or escape route for the underground river. In this cave and galleries, the action of water in the limestone has created cathedral-like vaults full of various sizes, colors and shapes of stalactites and stalagmites, majestic curtains and fantastic rock formations. The total length of the cave is more than 9000 m and there is one among the biggest stalactites in the world hanging 8,20 m. The grotto accommodates a huge hall with a distance of 108 m from the ceiling till the water level.