For years, Slate has ranked the world’s natural and manmade wonders, and the list of modern wonders is as popular as ever. This year’s edition, however, includes some new contenders. We’ve also ranked modern wonders, including the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and the Sydney Opera House. Check out this list to see if your new favorite wonder has made the cut!
The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is one of the world’s natural wonders. This spectacular light display is found at high latitudes, including the Arctic and the Antarctic, and has been described as the “sunshine of the northern lights.” And the Paricutin volcano, a volcano formed from an area of cornfields, is another one of the world’s seven natural wonders.
The seven wonders of classical antiquity were architectural marvels and triumphs of human ego and raw power. Today’s great achievements, however, are made possible by systems, infrastructure, and technologies that were not even considered when the ancient wonders were built. Consider the expansion of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport without expanding the runway. While the classical seven wonders were magnificent, today’s great achievements are made possible by technologies, systems, and infrastructure that were once invisible.
One of the wonders of the world is the Grand Canyon, a 277-mile-long canyon carved by the Colorado River. This 17-million-year-old wonder is one of the world’s most beautiful sights. Another wonder is the Northern Lights, a dazzling natural light show that has lured travelers to the polar regions for centuries. Landscape photographers love to capture these breathtaking natural phenomena. The list of wonders of the world has no shortage of attractions to explore.
In 2007, a Swiss foundation launched an online campaign to choose the New Seven Wonders of the World. The original list was compiled in the 2nd century BCE, and today the Pyramids of Giza remain the only seven Wonders. Thousands of people voted online, via text messaging, and through various polls to determine which sites deserved to be on the list. While the Great Pyramid did not make the final cut, the New7Wonders Foundation included it as an honorary candidate.