New 7 Wonders of Nature - Really?

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A few days ago the winners of the New7Wonders of Nature were announced and I’m sure more than a few people were surprised by the results. Considering some of the ‘big names’ that made the final 28 it was very interesting to see how influential the public vote was in determining the winners.

It is pretty clear to me that there has been some serious campaigning done by the tourism boards of some of the lesser-known wonders in order to gain a place on the list, unfortunately at the expense of what I will call ‘quality control’.

Here is the sequence of events that led to a decision being made:

  • The voting process began back in December of 2007 with a global vote to determine the nominees from over 220 countries. This voting continued until the 7th of July 2009 and the 77 nominees were then selected.
  • Panel of Experts then selected 28 finalists on the 21st of July 2009.
  • The public then voted for their favorites – with more than 100 million votes cast.
  • The 7 winners were announced on the 11.11.11

So to give you a little background here is the list of 28 finalists and we will discuss the winners shortly.

The Finalists

1. Amazon

Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela


2. Angel Falls


Angel Falls
Angel Falls

3. Bay of Fundy


Bay of Fundy

4. Black Forest


Black Forest

5. Bu Tinah Island

United Arab Emirates

Bu Tinah Island

6. Cliffs of Moher


Cliffs of Moher

7. Dead Sea

Israel, Jordan, Palestine

Dead Sea

8. El Yunque

Puerto Rico

El Yunque

9. Galapagos Islands


Galapagos Islands

10. Grand Canyon

United States

Grand Canyon

11. Great Barrier Reef


Great Barrier Reef

12. Halong Bay


Halong Bay

13. Iguazu Falls

Argentina, Brazil

Iguazu Falls

14. Jeita Grotto


Jeita Grotto

15. Jeju Island

South Korea

Jeju Island

16. Mount Kilimanjaro


Mount Kilimanjaro

17. Komodo Island


Komodo Island

18. Maldives



19. Masurian Lake District


Masurian Lake District

20. Matterhorn/Cervino

Italy, Switzerland


21. Milford Sound

New Zealand

Milford Sound

22. Mud Volcanoes


Mud Volcanoes

23. Puerto Princessa Underground River


Puerto Princessa Underground River

24. Sunderbans

Bangladesh, India


25. Table Mountain

South Africa

Table Mountain

26. Uluru/Ayers Rock



27. Mount Vesuvius


Mount Vesuvius

28. Yushan

Chinese Taipei


Ok so from this esteemed list of natural wonders the following seven received the most votes by you and were announced the New7Wonders of Nature.

The Winners

1. Amazon
2. Halong Bay
3. Iguazu Falls
4. Jeju Island
5. Komodo Island
6. Puerto Princessa Underground River
7. Table Mountain

Is it just me or does this list seem a little stacked? Firstly more than 50% (4 out of 7) of the winners are from the same continent – Asia. Secondly, there are only 3 continents represented – Asia, South America, and Africa. Finally, the vast majority of the winners are from developing countries.

Why is this important to the voting? Well, in my opinion, there are 2 major factors – 1. Government backing and funding 2. National pride

I am not here to say that these wonders shouldn’t be on the list but they definitely wouldn’t be on my own personal list which would look something like this: Amazon (South America), Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Maasai Mara National Reserve (Africa), Grand Canyon (USA), Dead Sea (Israel), Antarctica, Mount Everest (Nepal)

Now it’s time to have your say. Tell us what wonders would be on YOUR list?

Image credits: New7Wonders

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Michael Glass

Michael is the founder of Backpacker Travel. He also runs walking tours in San Francisco and is a freelance travel writer. Michael is extremely passionate about travel and loves to explore festivals around the world.

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3 comments on “New 7 Wonders of Nature - Really?”

  1. These are truly gift of nature. Mankind should see to it that they are well-protected for the benefit of the next generation. I am proud to say that one of my country’s pride is included in the list. There are still beautiful natural wonders that yet to be discovered especially in my country, the Philippines.

  2. yes mate I agree. I didn't even know that someone had decided that we needed a new list of wonders .... keep the original list ...

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