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10 Natural Wonders of the World 10 Most Famous Trees in the World 10 Most Dramatic Sea Cliffs in the World10 Spectacular Sea Stacks

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10 Natural Wonders of the World

Last updated on April 19, 2012 in Landscapes, Wildlife, Wonders | 6 comments

With so many beautiful places on earth, a list of the top ten natural wonders of the world is unlikely to create a consensus. This is our version of the natural wonders of the world which we think represent the best of what nature has to offer.

10Sahara

Saharaflickr/alex lichtenberger

The Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert covering most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as the United States. Contrary to popular belief, large sand dunes (called ergs) form only a minor part of the Sahara. Most of the desert consists of largely barren, hard, rocky plateaus, with very little sand. The Sahara receives less than three inches of rain a year on average. Even in the Sahara’s wettest areas, it may rain only twice a week and not rain again for years.

9Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bayflickr/veen

Ha Long Bay is situated in north Vietnam round a 120 kilometer long coast line and is literally translated as “Bay of Descending Dragons”. The bay features thousands of islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves, others islands include lakes and some support floating villages of fishermen.

Explore Vietnam

8Mount Everest

Mount Everestflickr/Joe Hastings

At 8,848 meters (29,029 ft), Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth. It is located on the border between Nepal and Tibet. The highest mountain in the world attracts climbers of all levels. Although other eight-thousanders such as K2 are much more difficult to climb, Mount Everest still has many inherent dangers such as altitude sickness, weather and wind. People who die during the climb are typically left behind and it is not uncommon to find corpses near the standard climbing routes.

Explore Nepal

7Antarctica

Antarcticaflickr/Martha de Jong-Lantink

Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent on the planet, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Although about 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice, it is technically a desert (the largest on earth) with very little precipitation. Antarctica is colder than the Arctic because much of the continent is more than 3 kilometers (2 miles) above sea level, and because the Arctic Ocean covers the north polar zone transferring the ocean’s relative warmth through the icepack. Sea life of Antarctica include penguins, blue whales, orcas, and seals.

6Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reefflickr/idrewuk

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest system of coral reef in the world, stretching more than 3000 kilometers (1,900 miles). It is the only reef on Earth that can be seen from space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. The reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms. The Great Barrier Reef also features a host of wildlife including green sea turtles, dolphins, whales, sea snakes and clown fish.

Explore Australia

5Grand Canyon

Grand Canyonflickr/photophilde

The Grand Canyon is located in northern Arizona and is one of the great tourist attractions in the United States. Carved over several million years by the Colorado River, the canyon attains a depth of over 1.6 km (1 mile) and 446 km (277 miles) long. The Grand Canyon is not the deepest or the longest canyon in the world but the overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape offers visitor spectacular vistas that are unmatched throughout the world.

Explore United States

4Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Fallswikipedia/chensiyuan

One of the great natural wonders of the world, Iguaçu Falls is situated on the border between Brazil and Argentina. The waterfall system consists of 275 falls along the Iguazu River. The majority of the falls are about 64 meters (210 ft) in height. The most impressive of them all is the Devil’s Throat a U-shaped, 82 meter high (269 ft), 150 meter (492 ft) wide and 700 meter (2300 ft) long waterfall.

Explore Argentina

3Amazon

Amazon Rainforestflickr/CIAT International Center for

The Amazon is the largest river in the world by volume, with a total river flow that accounts for approximately one-fifth of the world’s total. The river has over 3,000 recognized species of fish and new species are still being discovered. The Amazon Rainforest represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests. As the largest tropical rainforest it has has an unparalleled biodiversity. One in ten known species in the world live in the Amazon Rainforest.

Explore Brazil

2Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islandsflickr/Scott Ableman

The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of volcanic islands belonging to Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The islands are quite remote and isolated, lying some 1000 km (620 miles) west of the South American continent. The archipelago is world renowned for its unique island ecosystem which was the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection. Seeing the amazing sites and wildlife is best done by joining a boat tour. Booking a Galapagos Islands cruise with a company in your home country is usually the most convenient, but is often more expensive. There are also a lot of companies that can book Galapagos Islands tours either in Puerto Ayora or from Guayaquil or Quito.

Explore Ecuador

1Serengeti

#1 of Natural Wonders Of The Worldflickr/lince

The Serengeti ecosystem is located in northwestern Tanzania and extends to southwestern Kenya. The region hosts the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet and one of the most breathtaking events in the animal kingdom. African safari tours follow the one million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra that make a 500 kilometer (310 miles) round trip from the Southern Serengeti in Tanzania to the northern edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The Great Migration is probably Africa’s greatest safari spectacle and the most exceptional natural wonder of the world.

Explore Tanzania

 

 

10 Most Famous Trees in the World

Last updated on July 4, 2012 in Landscapes | 24 comments

Famous trees come and go. L’Arbre du Ténéré was once considered the most isolated tree on Earth, a landmark on caravan routes in the Sahara, until it was knocked down by a drunk Libyan truck driver in 1973. This year in August, the famous Anne Frank tree in Amsterdam was blown down by high winds during a storm. Luckily, there are still many special trees out there. An overview of the most famous trees in the world.

10Arbol del Tule

Arbol del Tuleflickr/nathangibbs

Árbol del Tule, a Montezuma Cypress, is located in the town center of Santa María del Tule in the Mexican state of Oaxaca . It has the stoutest trunk of any tree in the world although the trunk is heavily buttressed, giving a higher diameter reading than q true cross-sectional of the trunk. It is so large that it was originally thought to be multiple trees, but DNA tests have proven that it is only one tree. The tree is estimated to be between 1,200 and 3,000 years old.

Explore Mexico

9Cotton Tree

Cotton Treeflickr/mifl68

The Cotton Tree is an historic symbol of Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone. According to legend, the Cotton Tree became an important symbol in 1792 when a group of former African American slaves, who had gained their freedom by fighting for the British during the American War of Independence, settled the site of modern Freetown. They landed on the shoreline and walked up to a giant tree just above the bay and held a thanksgiving service there to thank God for their deliverance to a free land.

Explore Sierra Leone

8Boab Prison Tree

Boab Prison Treeflickr/tm-tm

The Boab Prison Tree is a large hollow tree just south of Derby in Western Australia. It is reputed to have been used in the 1890s as a lockup for Indigenous Australian prisoners on their way to Derby for sentencing. In recent years a fence was erected around the tree to protect it from vandalism.

Explore Australia

7Major Oak

Major Oakflickr/Community Friend

The Major Oak is a huge oak tree in the heart of Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England. According to local folklore, it was Robin Hood’s shelter where he and his band of outlaws slept. The famous tree is about 800 to a 1000 years old. In 1790, Major Hayman Rooke, a noted antiquarian, included the tree in his popular book about the ancient oaks of Sherwood. It thus became known as The Major‘s Oak.

Explore United Kingdom

6Lone Cypress

Lone Cypressflickr/bdinphoenix

The Lone Cypress Tree near Monterey is probably the most famous point along the 17-Mile Drive, a scenic road through Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. The road winds through miles of breathtaking coastal views of the Pacific, with turnouts along the way at the most historical and picturesque sites. The Monterey Cypress is a species of cypress that is endemic to the Central Coast of California. In the wild, the species is confined to two small populations, near Monterey and Carmel.

Explore United States

5Tree of Life

Tree of Lifeflickr/Harold Laudeus

The Tree of Life in Bahrain is a mesquite tree which grows in the middle of desert. The tree is said to be 400 to 500 years old. Its long roots probably have found some underground water source, but it is still a miracle as it is the only green living organism living in a vast and barren desert. The local inhabitants believe that this was the actual location of the Garden of Eden.

Explore Bahrain

4Socotra Dragon Trees

Socotraflickr/Soqotra (Yemen)

The Dragon blood tree is arguably the most famous and distinctive plant of the island of Socotra. It has a unique and strange appearance, having the shape of an upside-down umbrella. This evergreen species is named after its dark red resin, that is known as “dragon’s blood”. The bizarre shape enables the tree to have optimal survival in arid conditions. The huge packed crown provides sufficient shade in order to reduce evaporation.

Explore Yemen

3General Sherman

General Shermanflickr/goingslo

General Sherman is a Giant Sequoia located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in California. The famous trees of the Giant Forest are among the largest trees in the world. In fact, if measured by volume, five of the ten largest trees on the planet are located within this forest. At 11.1 meter (36.5 ft) along the base he General Sherman tree is the largest of them all. The tree is believed to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old.

Explore United States

2Cedars of God

Cedars of Godflickr/Nicolas Karim

The Cedars of God is a small forest of about 400 Lebanon Cedar trees in the mountains of northern Lebanon. They are among the last survivors of the extensive forests of the Cedars of Lebanon that thrived in this region in ancient times. The Cedars of Lebanon are mentioned in the Bible over 70 times. The ancient Egyptians used its resin in mummification and King Solomon used the famous trees in the construction of the First Temple in Jerusalem.

Explore Lebanon

1Avenue of the Baobabs

#1 of Famous Trees In The Worldflickr/Olivier Lejade

The Avenue of the Baobabs is a group of famous trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in western Madagascar. Its striking landscape draws travelers from around the world, making it one of the most visited tourist attractions in Madagascar. The Baobab trees, up to 800 years old, did not originally tower in isolation over the sere landscape of scrub but stood in dense tropical forest. Over the years, as the country’s population grew, the forests were cleared for agriculture, leaving only the famous baobab trees.

Explore Madagascar

 

 

10 Most Dramatic Sea Cliffs in the World

Last updated on July 4, 2012 in Landscapes, World | No comments

Nothing creates a better “End of the World Experience” than the dramatic coastlines formed by vertical sea cliffs. Standing on top of these tall cliffs, your eyes are met with nothing but the vast expanse of the ocean, huge waves crashing against the rocks below.

10Etretat

Etretatflickr/Trancept

Étretat is a small coastal village best known for its cliffs, including a famous natural arch. The spectacular sea cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted famous artists including Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet. The pebbled beach, sparked with quartz geodes, is wrapped in dramatic cliffs eroded into giant formations and offshore needles. Two of the arches can be seen from the town, a third requires a walk at low tide.

Explore France

9Paracas Sea Cliffs

Paracas Sea Cliffsflickr/Dixie_Flatline

Paracas National Reserve is a popular nature reserve and beach destination on the southern coast of Peru. The reserve is home to many species of wildlife, particularly birds, whom are largely concentrated at the water’s edge. The sea cliffs that fringe the beaches provide home to thousands of these. A trip to Paracas is not complete without a visit to scenic Playa Roja or Red Beach named after the rend sand of volcanic origin.

Explore Peru

8White Cliffs of Dover

White Cliffs of Doverflickr/HBarrison

The White Cliffs of Dover spread east and west from the port town of Dover. The cliffs have great symbolic value for Britain because they face towards France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, where invasions have historically threatened and against which the cliffs form a symbolic guard. The cliff face, which reaches up to 107 meters (351 feet), owes its striking white color to its composition of chalk accentuated by streaks of black flint.

Explore United Kingdom

7Látrabjarg

Látrabjargflickr/lyzadanger

At 14 km long and up to 440 meter (1443 feet) high, Látrabjarg is one of the three largest bird cliffs in Iceland, with the other two being Hornbjarg and Hælavíkurbjarg. Látrabjarg is by far the easiest of the three to visit as a road leads practically to the cliff’s edge. It is fitting that Látrabjarg itself is at the end of a road, as it marks the end of a continent marking the most western part of Europe.

Explore Iceland

6Bunda Cliffs

Bunda Cliffsflickr/tm-tm

The Bunda Cliffs are just one of the many dramatic sea cliffs of Australia’s long coastline. Bunda Cliffs is an aboriginal name used for the Nullarbor coastal cliffs. The sea cliffs, which are some 60 (200 ft) to 120 meters (400 ft) high, extend for around 100 km along the Great Australian Bight near its northern extremity and are close to the Nullarbor Plain in a very sparsely settled area of Australia. Besides cliffs, the coast line of the Great Australian Bight is characterized by surfing beaches and rock platforms, ideal for whale-watching.

Explore Australia

5Cabo Girao

Cabo Giraoflickr/Paco CT

Cabo Girão is located in the southern part of the Madeira Islands. At 570 meters (1,870 ft), the cliff is often referred to as the highest sea cliff in Europe but at least three European cliffs are higher. The view down the almost sheer drop to the ocean is thrilling nonetheless. The terraced fields that can be seen beneath the cliff used to be only accessible by boat. In 2003, a cable car was installed on the slope of the cliff so farmers can reach these low-lying fields.

Explore Portugal

4Acantilados de Los Gigantes

Acantilados de Los Gigantesflickr/Joachim S. Müller

Acantilados de Los Gigantes (“Cliffs of the Giants”) are sea cliffs along the western coast of the Canary Island Tenerife. The almost vertical walls reach heights of 500 meters (1640 ft) in some places and represent the highest cliffs of the Canaries. Across a small bay lies the little port and resort town of Los Gigantes which features a black sand beach and a marina. Form the marina, you can take a boat ride out to the foot of the Los Gigantes cliffs where you can truly appreciate the immensity and beauty of these gigantic cliffs.

Explore Spain

3Santorini

Santoriniflickr/Wolfgang Staudt

The Greek island of Santorini is famous for its dramatic views, stunning sunsets, the white-washed houses, and its very own active volcano. Fira, the capital of Santorini, is a marriage of Venetian and Cycladic architecture, whose white cobblestone streets bustle with shops, tavernas, hotels and cafes, while clinging on the edge of the 400 meter (1,300 ft) high sea cliffs.

Explore Greece

2Kalaupapa Cliffs

Kalaupapa Cliffsflickr/Mastery of Maps

Located on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, Kalaupapa is a village at the base of the highest sea cliffs in the world, as recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records, dropping about 1,010 meters (3,315 feet) into the Pacific Ocean. Views of these sea cliffs are featured in the movie Jurassic Park III. Because of the steep cliffs and surrounding ocean, Kalaupapa cannot be reached by car and visitors are transported by trail descending along the cliffs to Kalaupapa. Some of the workers at the village also commute on foot daily on this trail.

Explore United States

1Cliffs of Moher

#1 of Most Dramatic Sea Cliffs In The Worldflickr/ac78

The Cliffs of Moher are amongst the most impressive coastlines in the world, and are widely considered to be one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions, drawing almost one million visitors each year. The cliffs rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O’Brien’s Tower, eight kilometers away. There are many animals living on the sea cliffs. Most of these are birds, with an estimated 30,000 birds, representing more than 20 species.

Explore Ireland

 

10 Spectacular Sea Stacks

Last updated on July 4, 2012 in Landscapes | 3 comments

Sea stacks are amazing vertical rock formations standing in the sea that were formed entirely by wind and water. The formation process usually begins when the sea creates cracks in the headland, causing them to later collapse, and forming free-standing stacks. Eventually, the same process that created the sea stacks will also cause them to collapse.

10Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry Rocksflickr/Joe Dunckley

The Old Harry Rocks are two chalk stacks located on the Dorset coast in the south of England. The rocks mark the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast. The cliffs here are mainly made up of chalk, with some bands of flint within them. The sea stacks are continuously being eroded by the sea and are therefore an ever-changing feature. In the 18th century, people could still walk from the mainland to Old Harry, which is the stack at the end nearest to the sea.

Explore United Kingdom

9Lange Anna

Lange Annaflickr/sosni

The Lange Anna is a famous landmark of the small German island Heligoland, located in the north sea. The island used to be much larger but the waves slowly removed most of the rocks above sea level. The waves created beautiful formations such as caves and narrow peninsulas with arches at the bottom. When such an arch collapsed a sea stack remained. The 47 meter (154 feet) high is the result of the collapse of a natural arch in 1868. In the spring the rock is covered by sea birds who come to the rock to breed.

Explore Germany

8Sail Rock

Sail Rockwikipedia/Sergey S. Dukachev

Parus Rock (or Sail Rock), is a large sandstone stack located on the shore of the Black Sea in Russia. The proportions of the rock are quit remarkable. While the sea stack is only a little more than a meter thick, it is about 25 meters (82 feet) high and about 20 meters (66 feet) in length. The form of the rock is therefore often described as resembling the outline of a ship’s sail, hence its nickname. Just above the ground the rock has a hole, presumably created by artillery fire during the Caucasian War.

Explore Russia

7Kicker Rock

Kicker Rockflickr/Julian Rotela Rosow

Kicker Rock, also called the Sleeping Lion, or León Dormido, is a rocky formation and popular dive destination on the western side of Isla San Cristobal, the easternmost island in the Galápagos archipelago. The rock represents the remains of a lava cone, now split in two. There is a mild current that passes through the two rocks, which attracts hammerhead and Galápagos sharks. Kicker Rock is also home to a large colony of sea birds.

Explore Ecuador

6Bako Sea Stack

Bako Sea Stackflickr/duke88

The Bako National Park is located in Sarawak, a state of eastern Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. Millions of years of erosion of the sandstone have created a coastline of steep cliffs, spectacular sea cliffs and stretches of sandy bays. The most well-known landmark of Bako National Park is the sea stack in front of the beautiful beach of Pandan Kecil, that resembles a cobra head coming out of the water. The park is also home to the highly endangered proboscis monkey known for their big noses.

Explore Malaysia

5Haystack Rock

Haystack Rockflickr/AlleyesonJenny

Haystack Rock is a 72 meter (235 foot) tall sea stack located on Cannon Beach in the state of Oregon. The rock is home to many birds, including tufted puffins, gulls, and cormorants. It is a popular tourist destination and accessible by foot during low tide. Each year, many people become temporarily trapped on Haystack Rock when high tide engulfs the rock in water.

Explore United States

4Ko Tapu

Ko Tapuflickr/Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bez

Ko Tapu (Nail Island) is a 20 meter (66 foot) tall sea stack located in the Phang Nga Bay, Thailand. Ko Tapu has become a popular tourist attraction since it was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974. For this reason, it is also often referred to as James Bond Island. In 1997, James Bond returned to Phang Nga Bay in the movie Tomorrow Never Dies.

Explore Thailand

3Risin og Kellingin

Risin og Kellinginflickr/arne.list

Risin og Kellingin are two sea stacks just off the northern coast of the island of Eysturoy in the Faroe Islands. The name Risin og Kellingin means The Giant and the Witch and refers to an old legend about their origins. The giant is the 71 meter (233 foot) tall stack further from the coast, and the witch (Kellingin) is the 68 meter (223 foot) tall stack nearest to the land. Gologists predict that Kellingin, which currently stands on two legs, will fall into the sea sometime in the next few decades during the winter storms.

Explore Faroe Islands

2Old Man of Hoy

Old Man of Hoyflickr/Roger B.

The Old Man of Hoy is a 137 meters (449 feet) high sea stack of red sandstone on the west coast of the island of Hoy, in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. On maps drawn between 1600 and 1750 the area appears as a headland with no sea stacks so the Old Man is probably less than 400 years old. It may not get much older, as there are indications that it may soon collapse. The sea stack is a popular rock climbing destination and was first climbed in 1966.

Explore United Kingdom

1The Twelve Apostles

#1 of Spectacular Sea Stacksflickr/M Kuhn

The Twelve Apostles are large limestone stacks which were formed as a result of erosion by rain, winds and wild seas. They are located along the spectacular Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Despite their biblical name there are only eight apostles in the twelve apostles formation. Most recently a 50 meter (164 feet) tall apostle collapsed in 2005. Little Penguins can be found nesting in the caves below the Twelve Apostles.

Explore Australia

 

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