The 7 Natural Wonders of the World: Earth's Most Awe-Inspiring Places

What are the seven natural wonders of the world? These are magnificent marvels created by Mother Nature. In fact, these beautiful natural attractions bring in tourists in droves. Learn where these natural marvels are and some fun facts about each of them.

sunset overlooking Colorado River in the Grand Canyon sunset overlooking Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
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What Are the 7 Natural Wonders?

The seven natural wonders of the world are landmarks that were created entirely by nature. These wonders were acknowledged by the group, Seven Natural Wonders. This group works to create education and awareness about conservation and appreciation of the world through creating natural wonders lists. In addition to the seven natural wonders of the world, you can also find lists covering man-made wonders, seas and ancient wonders. See a quick breakdown of these wonders and a fun fact.

Natural Wonder

Continent

Fun Fact

Grand Canyon

United States

It takes 5 hours to drive from the South Rim to the North Rim even though they are only 10 miles apart.

Great Barrier Reef

Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is about the size of Italy and includes 900 islands.

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

Artic

The Northern Lights are surrounded by myth and have entire Norse legends dedicated to them.

Mount Everest

Asia

The summit of Mount Everest isn’t home to any creatures, but a few thousand feet down, you can find the Himalayan jumping spider living it up at about 22,000 feet.

Paricutin Volcano

Mexico

Paricutin is a conical hill volcano that quickly absorbed the structures of two towns — the remains of which can still be seen and visited.

Victoria Falls

Africa

While Victoria Falls separates two countries, it is considered a World Heritage Site. So, it's not owned by either of them.

Harbor of Rio de Janeiro

South Africa

In addition to several granite mountains, you can also see a large statue of Christ that is 130 feet tall from the harbor.

1. Grand Canyon in the United States, North America

What is the Grand Canyon? Well, it’s a huge canyon located in Arizona. And it lives up to its name of grand. This canyon, created by the Colorado River, is 6,000 feet at its deepest point and 277 miles long, making it bigger than the state of Rhode Island.

A geological marvel, the Grand Canyon was carved over 6 million years, has over 1,000 hidden caves and includes extensive fossil records. In addition to being massive, the Grand Canyon can influence the weather by affecting solar heat and air circulation. Given the sheer magnitude of this geological monstrosity, it's easy to see why they called it grand.

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2. Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia

Next up on the wonders of the world is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This massive reef system extends more than 1,200 miles. What makes the Great Barrier Reef so special is the vast expanse of ecological life taking up residence in its borders that aren’t found anywhere else in the world.

In fact, more than 10% of the world’s fish population lives in the reef, and the corals are living tiny creatures. Additionally, some areas of the reef are millions of years old and house prehistoric creatures like the nautilus. However, due to climate change and pollution, the Great Barrier Reef corals are dying and bleaching at a rapid rate, putting the life of the reefs at risk.

Great Barrier Reef Australia
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3. Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

Aurora borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights is not a natural land phenomenon but a natural light show in the sky. These lights are created at the magnetic North Pole. While the why of the Northern Lights can get a bit science-y, it’s basically the collision of particles from the sun on Earth creating a spectacular natural fireworks display. The Northern lights can be seen by dozens of countries on a clear night, but some of the best places to view them are Alaska, Siberia, Norway, Canada, Greenland, and Iceland. The Southern Hemisphere also has polar lights but the ocean makes them harder to see.

Northern lights above Festhelltinden peak and Hamnoy Norway
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4. Mount Everest in the Himalayas, Asia

Mount Everest is the tallest place on Earth and is located in Tibet and Nepal. To get to the summit of Mount Everest, you need to climb over 29,000 feet! Housed in the Himalayan Mountain Range, Mount Everest is surrounded by dozens of people groups that call this area their home, including the Sherpa people. Since they're born in this area, the Sherpa people are great climbers that are accustomed to low oxygen levels.

Additionally, Mount Everest rises about a foot every year and is more than 60 million years old. Being the 7th-deadliest mountain in the world, about 300 people have died on Mount Everest and many of their bodies are still there due to the difficulty it would take to remove them. In fact, many climbers used these bodies as markers on the mountain.

Mt Everest north face from the Rongbuk Monastery China
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5. Paricutin Volcano in Michoacan, Mexico

From mountains and canyons, it’s time to look at volcanoes. Of course, one of the seven natural wonders of the world would be a volcano. The Paricutin volcano is a young volcano formed in a cornfield within the Ring of Fire, an active volcano and earthquake area. The volcano wasn’t known at the beginning of the 1900s, but in 1943, the volcano was discovered and erupted continuously until 1952. So in their lifetime, researchers were able to study the birth and death of a volcano with Paricutin. The volcano has continuously grown yearly since 1943 and is now over 9,000 feet tall. During its lifetime, the Paricutin volcano overtook the villages of Paricutin and San Juan Paragaricuiro, but you could still see the top of the San Juan Paragaricuiro church.

Paricutin Volcano
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6. Victoria Falls in South Africa, Africa

Located on the Zambezi River, you can find one of the world’s largest waterfalls, the Victoria Falls. Separating Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls are more than 5,603 feet high and more than 354 feet tall. When the water levels change in September, daredevils can swim in a natural pool called Devil’s Pool. Additionally, the Victoria Falls are near the Victoria Falls Rainforest and create a nighttime rainbow, known as the moon rainbow. Wouldn't that be a sight to see!

Victoria Falls Zimbabwe Southern Africa
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7. Harbor of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, South America

While Victoria Falls might be the largest waterfall in the world, the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro makes the seven natural wonders of the world list because it’s the largest natural bay. Surrounded by granite mountains, the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, also called Guanabara Bay, extends 20 miles inland and is 17 miles long. You can find the largest volume of water in the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, and it houses 13 islands.

Rio de Janeiro Brazil
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Exploring the 7 Natural Wonders of the World

The fact that humans live and breathe on Earth is truly amazing. But some natural elements are more magnificent than others. These are called the seven wonders of the world. Now that you know a little about these marvels, you might check out major and minor land formations.