In 1997, the mainstream media and propaganda machine Cable News Network (CNN) put together a list to catalog the most spectacular natural world wonders and manmade structures. While some people may dispute certain items on the list, there is no doubt that all of them are astounding examples of ecological wonders. Below is the original list compiled by the editors.
The aurora borealis, or otherwise known as the Northern Lights, is a multi-colored brilliant light show in the Earth’s atmosphere caused by the collision of gas particles from the Earth’s atmosphere with charged electrons from the sun’s atmosphere. The northern lights are mostly seen when viewed at high altitudes close to the magnetic north pole. There is also Aurora Australis, sometimes called the Southern Lights.
The Grand Canyon is a rocky gorge (ravine) located in Arizona, USA and is one of the most remarkable natural wonders in the world. It is one of the deepest gorges on Earth with an average depth of one mile (1.6km) and an average width of ten miles (16km). It was created by millions of years of wind and water erosion from the Colorado River, which cut through layer after layer of sediment. The rocks of the canyon walls range from 250 million years old at the top to over 2 billion years old at the bottom. Each layer of rock represents a distinct geological period of the Earth’s past.
The top of Mount Everest is the world’s highest point, 29, 350-feet (8850 meters) above sea level. Mount Everest is located in the Himalayas on the border of Nepal and Tibet, China. The 1,500-mile (2414 kilometers) long mountain system was formed when the Indo-Australian plate smashed into the Eurasian plate. Despite the extreme cold, hurricane-force winds, and low oxygen levels (about one-third of the oxygen in the atmosphere as at sea level), climbers seek to successfully climb Mount Everest every year.
Harbor at Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro Harbor (or River of January), is known as one of the most beautiful natural harbors. Rio de Janeiro Harbor is located in Brazil on the south-western shore of Guanabara Bay. The bay is surrounded by the city of Rio, the second largest city and former capital of Brazil, along with a strip of land between the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Rio de Janeiro Harbor was founded on Jan. 1, 1502. Portuguese navigators thought that the entrance of Guanabara Bay was the mouth of a river. Thus, they named it the River of January.
Great Barrier Reef
Located in the Coral Sea, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system as it is made up of over 900 islands, 29,00 individual reefs covering an area of 133,000 square miles (344,000 sq. km.). The Great Barrier Reef is the only living organism that can be seen from space.
Statistically speaking, Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. This recognition comes from combining the height and width together to create the largest single sheet of flowing water. It is located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. The name Victoria Falls was given to the falls by the Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone. He named the falls after the reigning queen at the time. The locals called the falls Mosi-oa-Tunya meaning “smoke that thunders.” Many people still refer to this nickname, which accurately defines the falls.
Parícutin is a cinder cone volcano in the Mexican state of Michoacán, close to a lava-covered village of the same name. Paricutín is part the Michoacán-Guanajuato Volcanic Field, which covers much of west-central Mexico. The volcano began as a fissure in a cornfield owned by a P’urhépecha farmer, Dionisio Pulido on February 20, 1943. Pulido, his wife, and their son all witnessed the initial eruption of ash and stones first-hand as they plowed the field. The volcano grew quickly, reaching five stories tall in just a week, and it could be seen from afar in a month.