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The New 7 Wonders of Nature: Some Worthy Runners-up

October 27, 2010

What started late in 2007 has now boiled down to the last 28, and as reported in the latest issue of Expat Newspaper, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River in Palawan, the Philippines is still in the running. There were inevitable casualties from last year’s cut, reducing the list of hopefuls from 77. By continent, here are some of them (images culled from Google Images, description from the New 7 Wonders website):

Christmas Island, Australia

AUSTRALIA AND OCEANIA: Christmas Island, Australia

Christmas Island National Park is on Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia. The park is home to many species of animal and plant life, including red crabs during their annual migration, when around 100 million crabs move to the sea to spawn, and Abbott’s Booby, an endangered bird that only nests on the island.The park protects & preserves the important ecological systems which characterize this beautiful tropical island: the magnificent rainforests, the ocean shores & reefs.

Dean's Blue Hole, Bahamas

NORTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA: Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas

Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s deepest blue hole, which plunges 202 m to the ocean floor, west of Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas. Dean’s Blue Hole is roughly circular at the surface, with a diameter ranging from 25 to 35 m. After descending 20 m, the hole widens considerably into a cavern with a diameter of 100 m.

Kaziranga National Park, India

ASIA: Kaziranga National Park, India

Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam, India. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high-species diversity and visibility. Kaziranga has the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. It is also recognised as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal species.

Lake Titicaca, Bolivia/Peru

SOUTH AMERICA: Lake Titicaca, Bolivia/Peru

Lake Titicaca sits 3,812 m above sea level making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world. By volume of water it is also the largest lake in South America. The lake is located at the northern end of the endorheic Altiplano basin high in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It is composed of two nearly separate sub-basins that are connected by the Strait of Tiquina which is 800m across at the narrowest point.

Mount Olympus, Greece

EUROPE: Mount Olympus, Greece

Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece at 2,919 m high. Since its base is located at sea level, it is one of the highest mountains in Europe, in real absolute altitude from base to top. It is situated in mainland Greece and is noted for its very rich flora with several endemic species. In the Greek mythology, Mount Olympus is the home of the Olympians, the principal gods in the Greek pantheon.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

AFRICA: Sossusvlei, Namibia

Sossusvlei is a salt pan in the central Namib Desert, lying within the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Fed by the Tsauchab River, it is known for the high, red sand dunes which surround it, forming a huge sand sea.

Among the 28 remaining, Asia leads the field with 11 nominated sites, followed by Europe with 5 and South America with 4. North and Central America (including the Caribbean) and Australia and Oceania each have 3, while Africa has 2.

Will the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign bring the heightened appreciation for the planet as touted? At least one person doesn’t think so, based on the contests predecessor, the New 7 Wonders of the World tilt. Travel writer Rob Lovitt says that contest has led not so much to greater funding for heritage protection as to off-tangent publicity and an odd exclusion of shoo-ins. Here’s to hoping this campaign end up better off.

Keep updated with Expat Newspaper.

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