1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest construction made by living creatures. In fact it is so large that it spans over 1,600 miles and can be seen from space, quite impressive for living coral. It is actually comprised of 2,900 small reefs and over 900 coral islands. It is registered as a world heritage site and is home to a wide variety of marine life, some of which can only survive in the reefs underwater ecosystem. Some thirty species of whales have been noted to inhabit parts of the reef as well as porpoises and dolphins. The reef is home to so many species of marine and land dwelling life forms that it is said to have the most diverse and wide-ranging animal life in the world. It is definitely one of the worlds must-see places.
2. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe-Zambia
Victoria Falls has six gorges that the waters fall upon, each of them with their own history; the prehistoric formation of the falls is seen in the composition of each of the gorges. Many archeological dig sites have taken place along the coast of the falls, some yielding discoveries of ancient artifacts dating back 3 million years. One of the sites has brought the discovery of iron weapons and armor dating from between 10,000 and 2,000 years ago, showing that the waters of the falls have been vital to many people throughout the centuries. Since the discovery of the falls it has been more developed so that easier access can be gained to see the falls. The first significant access was by railroad, and presently visitors can drive to the falls and take a short hike to get to the paved walk surrounding the falls.
3. Suez Canal, Egypt
The Suez Canal is a man-made waterway that took ten years to build and sits just at sea level. The main purpose of the canal system was to provide a direct shipping route to European countries so vessels wouldnt have to go all the way around Africa. By international treaty the canal is open to any vessel, even in times of war without distinction of flag or force. It is believed that many have tried since the 2nd millennium to construct such a canal system to link the Red Sea but to no avail. The canal was open for shipping purposes in the year 1869; the final cost of the canals construction was more than double what was projected. Financial problems in the early years of the canals opening led to the Suez Crisis, which led shareholding countries to simultaneously invade the country of Egypt until an agreement was reached on payment and retribution.
4. Dead Sea, Israel
The Dead Sea in Israel, earned its name for the sole reason that no life can be supported in the sea, at least none known presently. This lack of life is due to the fact that the salinity level of the body of water is nearly 34%, making it 8.5 times saltier than the salt levels of the worlds oceans. The sea has attracted visitors for thousands of years and is said to be a place of refuge for King David. It was also the health resort of Herod the Great. Today, the site attracts many visitors and the salts of the waters are used for cosmetics and many other products that are commonly used. A unique feature that the brave visitors get to experience is swimming in the water of the sea, which is so dense that swimming is like swimming in a jar of jelly, you can almost float on the surface of the water.
5. Canals of Venice, Italy
Venice is known as one of the most romantic cities of the world; there are 150 canals throughout the city and travel by boat is the main form of transportation. The only other way to get around the city is by foot as there are no cars in the city. The biggest of the canals is the 2-mile-long Grand Canal, which runs through the citys center, splitting it in half. The traditional boat used to travel around the city is the man-powered gondola. In modern times, though, gondolas are mainly a tourist attraction as most of the citys residents use motor powered boats to travel the canals of Venice. The canal system runs through every street as there are really no streets in Venice, well at least made of stone. The canals actually work as the citys streets and roads. The canals are only 16.5 feet deep, making them only accessible by smaller boats.
6. Li River, China
The Li River in China has quickly developed into one of Chinas main attractions, as the lands surrounding the rivers are spectacular in terrain and diversity. The best way to experience the area is to take a cruise down the river, which takes about 4-5 hours to complete the total 83 kilometers that is highlighted during a typical cruise. It is one of the most remarkable cruises that someone can go on, as the scenery changes so frequently that one moment you can be travelling through flat land covered in wildflowers and the next you can be winding down the river between hundred-foot cliffs. It is also one of the best ways to see the undeveloped villages of China. As you wind down the river you are likely to see locals paddling down the river on bamboo rafts and people fishing with homemade nets and fishing poles.
7. Huanglong Valley, China
The Huanglong Valley is one of the most beautiful places to visit on earth with untouched forest lands and colorful lakes throughout the region. Although you cannot visit the valley from December to March the rest of the year it is open to the public for exploration. The name translated into English means "Yellow Dragon”, a name the valley earned not because it used to home to dragons but because of the golden calcium deposits that wind through its waters. When the sun reflects on the calcium buildups and waters it appears as though a huge golden dragon is winding throughout the vast forests of the valley. The calcium also gives the water a golden hue - many would say that it gives the appearance that you are swimming in a pool of gold. The Huanglong Valley is by far the best place to see Mother Natures beauty in full expression.
8. Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como has been an escape for wealthy aristocrats and famous celebrities for many years, mainly because the glacial lake is regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy. Some of the greatest attractions of the lake are the surrounding, naturally romantic landscapes, its numerous species of wildlife, its abundance of luxury villas and of course, its almost perfect climate. The celebrities that have made their homes on the lake are those such as George Clooney, Madonna and the late Gianni Versace. The lake caters to the senses naturally and in the tourism industry, as the areas around the lake are home to many world-class spas. Some of the main venues aside from relaxing at the spa include windsurfing, sailing, and even kite surfing in some areas of the lake. Another interesting thing to do is to hop on a ferry to one of the small villages that are dotted along the coast.
9. Lake Baikal, Russia
Lake Baikal is the most amazing lake in the world today and holds many of the worlds records, as it is the oldest lake in the world, dating back 25 million years or even more. The lake also holds over 20% of the worlds fresh water - unfrozen fresh water, that is. It is also the clearest lake in the world, too. The other record it holds is that it is among the deepest of lakes around the world. The wildlife that are found in and around the lake are numerous and over two thirds of the wildlife can only be found near the lake. The total area of the lake is around 12,500 square miles. It was formed as the continent pulled apart from itself opening a giant rift that then filled with water throughout the millennia. The depth of the lake is averaged at around 1,600 feet deep and it is at that depth that the Baikal oil fish dwells.
10. Svartifoss Waterfall, Iceland
Svartifoss or Black Fall is not the biggest or even the grandest waterfall in the world but it is surely one of the most unique waterfalls in the world. The black backdrop of the falls is what gave rise to the small waterfalls name. The backdrop is actually formed from slowly cooled lava that made black crystal formations. As the water falls it appears black, though it is in fact crystal clear. The falls are located in the heart of the Skaftafell National Park of Iceland, and the area is one of the countrys small wonders. The falls have been the inspiration for many Icelandic architects throughout the years as some of their works reflect the sharp edged lava formations that make up Svartifoss. The waterfall is definitely a sight to see in the world. Though it is not quite like Niagara Falls in the United States, its merits lie in its supernatural looks.
Leave a comment