November 1, 2011

My New 7 Wonders of Nature

Puerto Princesa Underground River trek circa 1994

Have you cast your vote for the New 7 Wonders of Nature? You have about 10 days left to vote if you haven't done so. Voting ends November 11, 2011 (that's 11-11-11 for you).  I just sent my own verdict a while ago, through the New7Wonders website. You may not be interested with my picks, but here they are nonetheless in no particular order, each with snippets of the wisdom behind my vote:

  1. The Amazon of South America. The largest rainforest is found here. Sadly, among the fastest rates of deforestation also happens here. The Amazon rainforest produces 20% of the earth's oxygen, earning for it the monicker "The Lungs of the Planet". This tropical ecosystem is shared by nine countries.
  2. Great Barrier Reef of Australia and Papua New Guinea. This is the "Amazon" of the coastal and marine ecosystem in terms of size. The reef is the biggest single structure made by living organisms and can be seen from the moon.
  3. Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. This is where one finds the biggest concentration of endemic species. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection was born here. Without Darwin, there would have been fewer atheists and agnostics, and society would have been a lot boring.
  4. Komodo National Park of Indonesia. The earth's largest living lizards - the Komodo Dragons - call the Komodo and nearby islands home. Their only home; so unlike their cousins who are also able to survive in Congress.
  5. The Dead Sea of Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The lowest point on the earth's surface. No creatures (except for some microorganisms) live in its waters because of its high salinity (saltiness, in our terms); hence the name. What's more fascinating is that one can float on it without really trying. Click here and watch. Bad location for mafiosos to dump dead bodies.
  6. Halong Bay of Vietnam. I was there two years ago. The mysticism of the place is just overwhelming. Simply awesome.
  7. Underground River of Puerto Princesa, Philippines. But of course!
There are more of the finalists that deserve my vote, but since I am being limited to voting for just seven, I am sticking with my list above. I have never been to these places, except for the last two; but I have always been fascinated by them since childhood and have continued to get awed as I read and hear stories about them time and again. I hope you will also find them amazing and will also include them in your own list.

Halong Bay, Vietnam circa 2009

Related article: Vietnam and the Philippines united by nature

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