Our planet is home to a number of natural wonders, and it’s difficult to pick out the “best” ones since, at least for this post, the list is subjective. Inspired by the 7 Natural Wonders of the World website, I decided to pick out a dozen of my favorite. Here are 12 awe-inspiring natural wonders of the world which go to show that you don’t need to invoke the paranormal, myths, legends, and folklore to see the stuff of dreams
Click on the images below to see the larger version.
Angel Falls: the world’s highest waterfall with a height of 979 meters (just shy of a kilometer!). Incredibly enough, because the height is so great, much of the water is evaporated before it even reaches the ground below.
Chocolate Hills: An example of conical Karst topography, and located in Bohol, Philippines, there are over 1,776 hills composed of grass-covered limestone. During dry season, the grass dries up, forming the chocolate color.
Davolja Varos (the Devi’s Town): Features just over 200 formations described as ‘earth pyramids’, ranging in height from 2-15 m tall. They were created by the erosion of the soil in an area that previously had intense volcanic activity.
The Aurora (Borealis and Australis): A natural display of light visible at night and at the poles of the Earth, which occurs when charged particles directed by the Earth’s magnetic field collide high up in the ionosphere.
Meteor Crator: A meteorite impact crater in Arizona, it is 1.2 km across, 170 m deep, and is surrounded by a rim 45m in height. It is approximately 50,000 years old, and was created with a 50 m wide nickel-iron meteorite slammed into the Earth at some 12.8 km/s (72,420 km/h).
Aldabra: The world’s second largest coral atoll is located in the Indian Ocean. Loosely speaking, an atoll is a ring shaped ribbon reef enclosing a lagoon. Aldabra is home to the Aldabra tortoise, and is also considered a World Heritage Site.
Perito Mereno Glacier: Located in Argentina, it is 30 km in length and is considered the third largest reserve of fresh water in the world. It is one of only three Patagonian glaciers that is actually growing.
Tsingy de Bemaraha: A wonderful example of Karst topography, the park is located near the western coast of Madagascar and is considered a World Heritage Site. It’s undisturbed forests, lakes, and mangroves form the habitat for rare and endangered lemurs and birds.
Uluru: Also know as Ayers Rock, it is a huge sandstone rock formation located in Australia. It is one of Australia’s most recognized icons, and measures in at 9.4 km in circumference, and 348 m in height. An island mountain, it survived as the surrounding rocks eroded due to its lack of jointing and parting at the bedding surfaces.
Purnululu National Park: Located in the north east of Australia, the park is famous for its striped sandstone domes, alternating in orange and grey bands. The banding of the domes is due to differences in the clay’s content and the porosity of the sandstone layers.
The Milky Way: The galaxy in which we live is home to an estimated 100 billion stars or more, and has a diameter of 100,000 light years. Under near-perfect conditions (zero pollution, very dark, clear atmosphere, etc), the naked eye can detect upwards of 45,000 stars.
All Images: from the respective WikiPedia articles below