Tongue tied? Samesies! Confused? Well then, allow me to elaborate…
When I first noticed symptoms of my travel bug, I started itching to make a bucket list (no you don’t have to be dying or old to have a bucket list, just ambitious!) of course, hailing from down under I wanted to start with my own and tick off the Great Barrier Reef, mentioning with pride to whoever would listen “Did you know it’s one of the Seven World Wonders” followed by uncontrollable beaming and enthusiastic nodding at their obvious response. What I DIDN’T know, upon researching to see what the other six were, was that Wikipedia has a few of these seven wondrous lists and that the reef was categorized in the Seven NATURAL Wonders of the World. Want to know the rest? Of course you do! Here goes…
The O.G. Seven! (For those who aren’t gangster O.G. means original)
From salads to college fraternities the Greeks really did come up with it all! Before I get your hopes up like Wikipedia did to me, only ONE of these seven is still around and visitable. #epicbucketlistfail
1. Great Pyramid of Giza – THIS is the lucky last of the O.G. Seven which is still livin’ large today and still (somewhat) intact. The oldest and largest of three Pyramids in El Giza, Egypt. AND to top it all off – you can visit!
2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon – Fact or fiction? No one knows! It’s a bit of a he said she said scenario as to if it was real or not, but the paintings sure look like an epic watering hole! Legend says King Nebuchadnezzar II built these ancient gardens in Iraq for his wife Queen Amytis because she missed the green hills of her homeland, others say it was built by King Sennacherib from Assyria – woaaaaah ancient BC King Battle!
3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia – Poor Zeus! Apparently Ancient Roman Emperor – Caligula, tried to have all of the Greek God statues’ heads removed and replaced with his own. Rome was no joke! Talk about crazy power trips! Anywho, there are a few scenarios of how mighty Zeus did get destroyed, most revolve around burning…which means….nothing but ash to visit *thumbs down*
4. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus – One day, I will be a goddess and too have a shrine built for me! Greek Goddess Artemis sure was one lucky lady, why? Because this temple was rebuilt THREE times for her! The first was destroyed by flood, the second by arson and the third in a raid by the Goths. There is still some foundation that remains to visit now on the borders of Selçuk in Turkey and a replica was built and resides in Istanbul. Fourths times a charm?
5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus – try say that 5 times fast. It was an above-ground tomb for a Governor of the Persian Empire – Mausolus and his wife/sister (yep.) Artemisia. This was naturally destroyed by a series of Earthquakes. Fun Fact: Above-ground tombs are now known as Mausoleums.
6. Colossus of Rhodes – A statue of Greek titan-god of the sun Helios, built to celebrate the Rhodes victory over the ruler of Cyprus, was 30metres high, the tallest statue of the ancient world! Then was destroyed by the 226 BC Earthquake, which snapped the statue at the knees sending it crashing into the harbour. It was offered to be rebuilt but the offer was declined in fear they had insulted the sun-god. I mean, that sun sure knows how to shine a light on being modest….get it….SHINE a light 😉 badoom-tshhh!
7. Lighthouse of Alexandria – Again, suuuper tall, again, suuuuper earth-quakey! French archaeologists did happen to find some remains underwater of the Eastern Alexandrian Harbour though. Nothings ever truly lost is it…
Wow…so I was NOT planning to go as in depth there purely for the fact there are six more lists to go….but hey, it’s a sunday night, for me, right now, so why not catch up on some history! Grab a cuppa and let’s keep on keepin onnnn…
Mmkay so! In 2001 a Swiss corporation called New7Wonders decided to create a list of…..you guessed it…the new seven wonders! (Did the name give it away?) Here they are –
1. Great Wall of China – you’re a great wall of china. If you actually don’t know what this is yet, then I will make the safe assumption that you are a rock, my next question would be….how did you learn to read, rock?
2. Petra – A city in Jordan. Known also as the ‘Rose City’ because of the ancient rock it’s architecture is carved from. Basically, it’s a beaute!
3. Christ the Redeemer – That massive Christ statue in Rio D.J. Brazil that you see a zillion tourist selfie-stick snaps with – yep that’s this one! Fact: He never does a bad pose for the camera.
4. Machu Picchu – Firstly, it’s extremely fun to say, secondly it actually means ‘Old Mountain’ and thirdly, that’s what it is, a 15th Century old, old mountain sitting high above the sacred valley in the Andes Mountains, Peru. How high? 2, 430 metres above sea level high. Pop those ear drums!
5. Chichen Itza – Had to actively stop myself writing Chicken. Hola Mehico! This is a city bearing various Mayan culture and history, but it’s main attraction is the Kukulkan Pyramid also known as El Castillo which also means…the castle.
6. Colosseum – I could tell you, or, you could just watch Gladiator. No, no, actually I’ve been to this one! This year in fact! And it’s pretty awesome/barbaric to think of. The things that went on there “for fun” are just nutso in this day and era – I kinda feel like they would’ve been nutso then too….the thing that really got me was all of the names carved on to the wall, I’m talking like barely a centimeter gap between them and every wall is covered in names….kinda gives you an idea of just how many people died there and you can run your hand across the carvings and just know that centuries ago someone was standing where you’re standing, writing up someone’s death. Freaky deeky.
7. Taj Mahal – Heading here shortly! I can’t wait! So here’s that word again – Mausoleum. The Taj Mahal is a Mausoleum. I had no idea my Fun Fact would be so well placed and pop up later to be of use. I feel like this is either a bit where a comedian brings in a joke from earlier or a pop quiz your teacher does to check if you were listening.
8. Great Pyramid of Giza – Whaaaaaat, but there’s only meant to be 7?! Turns out Giza had a hissy fit that it was still around and not automatically on the list, so they put it on as an “Honorary Candidate” you’re alright Giza, you’re alright.
Yeah, none of this man-made business! We want au natural!
1. Grand Canyon – Woo! I can not wait to go back here again and again and again. I’ve been twice so far and it still amazes me! I want to camp down in the canyon and water-raft the river next trip! Tip: Go early in the day before 9:00am, it is so quiet and peaceful and you truly get the feeling of just how huge it is with nothing but wide open space and air around you, I definitely let out a “Coo’eeee” (Australian bush yell)
2. Great Barrier Reef – speaking of the land down under, let’s go a little further down…under…land…to…water. You get what I mean! It’s a massive reef lining the East coast of Northern Queensland annnnnd I scuba dived in it. Which is what sparked this entire 7 wondrous curiosity in the first place.
3. Harbor of Rio de Janeiro – aka Guanabara Bay, is the massive bay you see in the background in the panoramic shots of the Christ the Redeemer – so there you go, you can see TWO 7 wonders at once!
4. Mount Everest – used by many a person to describe the difficulty of a favour – for e.g. “I’m not asking you to climb Everest” it’s not the highest mountain to climb, but certainly one of the most difficult due to high winds, blizzards and avalanches. I watched a youtube video of people literally being hit by an avalanche and it squashed any desire I had to potentially climb it. You’re awesome Everest….from a distance.
5. Aurora – on a happier note, these beautiful lights seen on the northern and southern hemisphere called Aurora Borealis (northern lights) and Aurora Australis (southern lights) ….so, the questions most asked, where to see them? It’s a toughy because they’re not a light switch nor do they stay in place, however after me doing my research I have found most sites list for Aurora Borealis – Alta – Norway, Lake Inari – Finland and Lake Superior, Ontario – Canada. For Aurora Australis – South Georgia in March, Stewart Island – New Zealand, Tasmania, The Falkan Islands and if you’re still not satisfied – you can always go to Antarctica….I’m down!
6. Parícutin Volcano – A Volcano in Mexico renowned for it’s cone like shape.
7. Victoria Falls – an all over splash zone in South Africa located on the Zambezi River on the border of Zambia & Zimbabwe – for those who want to get wet without swimming!
But wait? Wasn’t that just…what we had….before? I’m with you! Same-same, but different. The first was from CNN and this one is a list from our old friends New7Wonders. Everyone’s makin lists! It’s a list party!
1. Iguazu Falls – Iguazu literally translates to “Big water” – yep, accurate. These falls sit on the border of Argentina and Brazil, legend has it that a deity had planned to marry a woman, who fled with her lover over the Iguazu River. The raged deity “sliced” the river, thus creating the waterfalls and ultimately condemning the lovers to an eternal fall – drama fest!
2. Jeju Island – welcome to an Island created entirely out of Volcanic eruptions….a giant volcano island baby just off the shores of South Korea!
3. Komodo Island – it’s raining Islands up in heyahhhh! Komodo Dragons galore on this Indonesian island with also the infamous “Pink Beach” named so because of the Pink Sand. One day red sand, met white sand….and well…we all know what happens after one too many sea breezes…. 😉
4. Puerto Princesa Underground River – I would say this is self explanatory, NOW, after reading wiki, but before I was like….underground riverrrrr whaaaaaat and just totally imagined this whole entire world underground with like an outdoor river and waterfalls and creatures we’ve never even seen before, but it’s actually a dark cave-like river that stretches 80kms in the Philippines. Yep. BUT another cool fact is this was only discovered in 2010, which means, you and I have the potential to discover a world wonder and have it come up on a list in a few years, you game?
5. Table Mountain – some mountains just like to be horizontally symmetrical, what of it? You go South Africa! Grow your straight mountain tops!
6. Ha Long Bay – not even wiki-ing this bad boy because I was JUST there. Can’t tell you statistics and how many mountains/islands/land masses are IN HaLong Bay, buuuuut, it’s awesome! And sooooo beautiful. You are literally in this giant green-water bay with all of these massive rock islands scattered everywhere. Our Vietnamese tour guide said a dragon came and blew fire through the bay creating the rock formations. RJ said it was probably giant waves from the moon way back when it was all crazy close, you know, gravitational pull, that old thaaaang. And I said…..can I swim in it?
7. Amazon Rainforest – is it just me or do you also think of Anacondas the minute you hear Amazon? Meanwhile, here’s a forest that expands over nine different countries. Not a typo.
Photo Credit: Andee Maher @violetspring
Also known as Seven “Man-made” wonders. Hey, we humans are impressive, with our brains and…stuff.
1. SS Great Eastern – a.k.a. “Great Babe” was one of the largest iron steam sailing ships of the 1800’s and could hold 4000 passengers without refueling from Britain to Australia…..one stop convict shop!
2. Bell Rock Lighthouse – the oldest and wisest in all the lands! Who doesn’t love a picturesque lighthouse? Head to the shores of Angus, Scotland for the worlds oldest sea-washed lighthouse!
3. Brooklyn Bridge – Talk about over-achiever, this hybrid of cable-stayed/suspension bridge is the oldest of either in the whole of U.S. – you may also have seen this icon many a time on almost any photographer exhibition, tv show, movie, blog and so on – Oh, Brooklyn Bridge, you little celebrity you!
4. London Sewerage System – not gonna lie, I don’t really get excited about sewerage systems, although this one does seem intense! I think the most interested I got was when I read it came about after something called “The Great Stink of 1858” …..LOL….Great Stink!
5. First Continental Railroad – behold the birth of public transport in the United States. I can imagine THIS was the very train that cowboys would fight on top of…..totally happened!
6. Panama Canal – in short, this is a canal that connects the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. Ocean’s colliiiiiiiide
7. Hoover Dam – I remember my mother taking me here when I was 10 and there’s just photos of me sulking the entire tour looking all bored haha, I feel I would appreciate it more now, but clearly industrial-ness does not have my undivided attention! No architect career for moi! – To elaborate, this is a massive dam on the border of Arizona & Nevada in the U.S. along the Colorado river.
ALSO: Found on the American Civil Engineers list are: The Empire State Building, Golden Gate Bridge, CN Tower, Channel Tunnel, Itaipu Dam & Delta Works
Now that THAT’S over, Industrial Shmustrial, on to more fun lists like Under Da SEAAAA. Darling, it’s better, down where it’s wetter, take it from me…
1. Palau – when you first type this in google, it brings up all the stats and history of the island, but then when you search specifically for underwater and after doing my research realize why it’s simply called “Palau” because there is just SO much wonderment in this vicinity. Not only do three ocean world currents meet here that brings about over 1500 fish species, coral life, marine life and amazing dive sites, but it’s also the home to Jellyfish Lake! RJ showed me a video of a guy swimming through it and both of us were like – we HAVE to go here, well, turns out, here is Palau – you win Palau! We’re coming!
2. Belize Barrier Reef – the worlds second largest reef after the Great Barrier (#auspride) is 300km long along the Carribean coast of Belize and also is home to The Great Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye and many amazing dive sites! I googled the blue hole once and it said according to legend a giant underwater monster lives in it, no one really knows how far down it goes….cray cray!
3. Great Barrier Reef – of course it’s an underwater wonder AS WELL as a natural world wonder! Honestly, I can see why and the best part is there is SO much you can see, because it’s actually so great, there a tons of dive sites and you can always get a different experience! Awesomeness! P.S. its 2,300 kms – yeah…wowzers!
4. Deep-Sea Vents – the ocean’s own jet-spa bath! These pockets of hot jets are produced in volcanic areas where the tectonic plates are constantly moving apart creating these little earth-made hot spots! Did the water just get warmer? No pee, just vents.
5. Galapagos Islands – these 20 islands off the province of Ecuador are said to actually be the tops of deep-underwater volcanoes, thus making this nature in its rawest form with over 2900 marine species. Who wants to play with penguins, sea-lions, turtles, dolphins, manta’s, sharks and SO many colorful fish and coral? I do! I do!
6. Lake Baikal – home to 1700 species – two thirds of which can’t be found anywhere else in the world, also the world’s deepest and clearest lake, considered the worlds largest by volume and declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Location: Siberia, Russia!
7. Northern Red Sea – the last but certainly not least, this little sliver of ocean between africa and asia is not only an incredibly colourful dive site but also has quite a few wrecks on the ocean floors making for a very entertaining dive! FYI: Sea not actually red 😉
Photo Credit: Inspium – AroundDeGlobe
There are quite a few SEVEN WONDERS lists roaming the world and a lot have most of the above mentioned, but some will range from time to time and be missing one or two in replace of some of these beautes. Here are the missing wonders who are on lists, just not THE list.
1. Stonehenge – this prehistoric built monument started in 3000 BC is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, but, as to WHY it was built still remains a mystery. I thought it was random scattered rocks until I saw a computer generated birds-eye view of what it would have looked like way back when. Which is actually a pillar-style circle. Maybe it was a giant clock?
2. Catacombs of Kom el Shogafa – what a mouthful! It means “Mound of Shards” and the reason it was named that was because when visitors used to come to the tomb they would bring food and wine for consumption on their tour, but not wanting to carry their jars with them from this “place of death” would break them, when it was later discovered people found shards all over the floor – thus the name!
3. Hagia Sophia – this is actually such a beautiful piece of architecture. Starting as a Basilica which is now a Mosque, was used as a Greek Cathedral and then converted to a Roman cathedral – a little bit of errythang residing in Istanbul, Turkey.
4. Porcelain Tower of Nanjing – this prominent tower in China was built as the “Temple of repaid Gratitude” and after it’s destruction in 19th century during the Taiping Rebellion holds the record for highest single person donation when a chinese businessman, Wang Jianlin, paid the equivalent of US156million for its restoration in 2010 – hey, big spender!
5. Leaning Tower of Pisa – I feel like this would be me if I ever tried to build something….not even noticing until I stand back to take a look and bam….whaaaaaat? It’s crooked? Oh, man. If you DON’T know what this is, it’s a cathedral that is unintentionally tilted in Pisa, Italy.
6. Cairo Citadel – I hear “citadel” and think of Star Wars. Ahh Star Wars, teaching young children a vast range of vocabulary. It is basically a medieval fortress in Cairo, Egypt, now a historic site for tourists to visit. But what a view of the city!
7. Ely Cathedral – This cathedral founded in 673 is most famous for it’s great height which is increased more-so for the fact that it sits amongst a completely flat landscape. I get it, the whole make yourself look taller by standing next to a shorter person thang! It stands oh-so-tall in Cambridgeshire, U.K.