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Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Seven Wonders of Nature

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Photo: Ondřej Žváček
A contest four years in the running is now complete, and the provisional winners of Seven Wonders of Nature have been announced. 

Launched in 2001, this is part of a larger campaign that previously defined the New Seven Wonders of the World as Chichen Itza, Christ the Redeemer, the Colosseum, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, Petra, and the Taj Mahal . The Pyramids of Giza, the last remaining of the Ancient Wonders of the World, were given honorary status.

The New7Wonders of Nature campaign endeavored to "raise awareness of the incredible variety and beauty of nature around us." Over the course of four years, the contest garnered over 100 million votes, and the provisional winners are the Amazon, Ha Long Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River, and Table Mountain.

A bit of controversy surrounds this competition: Gadling reports that the participating countries were asked to pay large sums of cash to cover marketing costs and other associated fees:
"The Indonesian government claimed, for example, that the organizers wanted $10 million to cover licensing fees and an additional $47 million to host the official closing ceremony. Earlier, the Maldives withdrew from the competition altogether when costs to participate spiraled upwards towards $500,000."
Some are questioning the legitimacy of the voting process, taking into account the money that changed hands. 

What does all this mean to you? Have you visited any of these sites, and will you add them to your bucket list? Sound off in the comments section below, or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

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