Top 10 Natural Wonders
Chris’ personal picks from places in the world that he has visited.
Bay of Fundy - Canada/US: One hundred and fifteen billion tonnes of water from the Atlantic Ocean is funneled into this bay twice a day producing 17 metre tides – the highest in the world. This makes for a spectacular coastal landscapes and a nutrient-rich soup for the large numbers of whales.
Great Barrier Reef - Australia: The largest structure on the planet is not made by Man, but by coral reef polyps. Visible from space, it stretches for 2,600km and encompasses 900 islands. But the numbers don’t do it justice: dive beneath the waves and a whole new world opens up with unbelievable diversity, shapes and colours.
Grand Canyon - US: Perhaps the greatest rent in the earth’s crust, this awe-inspiring abyss runs for 450km and is up to 1800 metres deep. It formed over 6 million years as the Colorado River cut through nearly 2,000 million years of geologic history to produce a landscape that humbles the visitor.
Mauna Kea - Hawaii: Think Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth? Think again! Everest is the highest mountain, but Mauna Kea on the main island of Hawaii is the tallest mountain measured from its base to its summit: 10,203 metres. Two thirds is under the Pacific Ocean, but the top 4,200 metres has a primitive beauty all its own.
Iguazu Falls - Brazil/Argentina: Beauty and spectacle in one thunderous package. Verdant jungles give way suddenly to the world’s greatest waterfall measured by average flow: 275 falls up to 82 metres in height along 2.7 kilometers of the Iguazu River on the border of Argentina and Brazil.
Northern Lights: These displays of natural lights in the atmosphere have complex scientific origins, but it is their ethereal, ephemeral, unforgettable beauty that haunts the viewer. Green, red glowing curtains shimmer, pulse and fade in the night skies at high latitudes in the north (Aurora Borealis) and in the south (Aurora Australis).
Victoria Falls – Zambia/Zimbabwe: So much more poetic is the local name: Mosi-oa-Tunya – “the Smoke that Thunders”. Situated in southern Africa on the Zambezi River between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe, this is the largest sheet of falling water in the world and combines thunderous power with tropic beauty.
Mediterranean Sea: This is the wonder most taken for granted…but its presence has had a profound effect on Man’s history from the mists of time until today. Its characteristic deep blue colour counterpoints the varied coastlines of 21 countries on 3 continents and surrounds islands as diverse as Corsica, Malta and Crete.
Amazonia - Brazil: The Amazon rainforest is the richest, most diverse environment on earth, with 10% of all species living there. Everything about it is immense: Amazonia encompasses seven million square kilometers and includes lands of nine nations. To visit is to truly experience the wonder of our world.
Pacific Ocean: The Pacific Ocean is larger than all the land surface of the earth combined! This great, translucent jewel still retains islands (25,000 of them!) so remote that travellers have to work hard to visit. But the rewards are huge…