Joining Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon, and Victoria Falls UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) has named eight new cultural and natural wonders of the world. They have been added to the already prominent list, which currently has 878 sites from 145 different countries including 679 cultural, 174 natural, and 25 mixed landmarks.
Behold the wonderment of the new eight additions:
- Joggins Fossil Cliffs (Nova Scotia, Canada): These cliffs are considered a superb site to understand the Coal Age (300 million years ago). These rocks have seen the first reptiles in earth’s history.
- Mount Sanqingshan National Park (China): Selected for its natural beauty, the park features unusual granite rock formations and suspended walking trails.
- Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems (French South Pacific possessions) — diverse coral reef ecosystems and fish life.
- Surtsey (Iceland): A newly formed island which arrived between 1963 and 1967 from a volcanic eruption, and has since given a window into how plants and animals colonized various land masses.
Want butterflies? I got you butterflies! To see the rest of the list, read more.
- Saryarka – Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan):This is a pristine, vast stretch of territory that furnishes the feeding grounds to nearly 16 million birds. Hey, isn't this Borat's country?
- Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (Mexico): The biosphere protects eight areas of habitat for wintering monarch butterflies. As many as a billion of these beautiful creatures winter here every year.
- Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona (Switzerland): This site was selected for its geological interest which has a dramatic display of mountain creation.
- Socotra Archipelago (Yemen): Home to 825 plant species. Thirty-seven percent are indigenous to this area only.
This is a bizarre little tidbit — in 2006 USA Today named a list of a New Seven Wonders as chosen by viewers of Good Morning America — the Internet made that list. I bet that was tricky to get a pretty picture of. Have you visited any of the world's wonders?