What are some natural wonders?



Many of the world’s most amazing sights were not made by people. Nature has some of the best attractions.



Some of the most beautiful natural wonders on Earth feature spectacular rivers or waterfalls. For instance, the Amazon River in South America is so wide that in some places you can’t see the other side. It is the second longest river in the world. The Amazon starts in Peru and flows all the way across Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean.



Also in South America are the Iguacu Falls. This is actually an entire system of nearly 500 waterfalls that are separated by small islands. The falls form part of the border between Argentina and Brazil. The site is one of the most popular attractions in South America.



Wide beams of coloured light shine on rushing falling, crashing water at Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is made up of two waterfalls, the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the border and the American Falls on the U.S. side. Millions of people visit this site each year.



In Africa, the rushing waters of the Victoria Falls, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, sound like thunder. The fall's huge clouds of spray look like thick white smoke. At its highest point, this waterfall on the Zambezi River plunges 111 metres into a rocky canyon.



The world's largest desert is also a natural wonder. This desert, the Sahara, also lies in the continent of Africa. The Sahara is almost the size of the entire United States. Part of this desert is sand, but most of it is rock and gravel plains.



 



Sometimes, it's not the place that's a natural wonder-but what lives there. Tsavo (SAH voh) National Park in Kenya stretches for thousands of miles. But the wondrous part of the park is the animals-buffaloes, cheetahs, elephants, rhinoceroses, and zebras, for instance that roam freely there. With some wonders, it is the actual site that's amazing. In North America, the Colorado River has been cutting a giant canyon in Arizona for 6 million years.



This valley is so deep that people call it the Grand Canyon. In some places, the canyon is 1.6 kilometres deep and up to 29 kilometres wide.



Some natural wonders are underwater! A coral reef is made up of the hardened skeletons of tiny animals called coral polyps. The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia, is the largest coral reef in the world. This chain of reefs extends for about 2,000 kilometres. People from all over the world come to see the amazing variety of fish that live there.



Some natural wonders are mountains. Mount Fuji is the pride of Japan and is sacred to many Japanese people.



The highest mountain in the world is also in Asia. Mount Everest, on the borders of Tibet and Nepal, is 8,850 metres high. Everest is called Chomolungma by the Tibetans and Sagarmatha by the Nepalese, both names basically mean "Goddess Mother of the Earth." Many Buddhists-followers of a major religion founded about 500 B.C. by a teacher who came to be known as Buddha-consider Mount Everest to be sacred.



 



Picture Credit : Google


What are the ancient wonders of the world?



Did you know that there are monuments, tombs, and huge walls that were built hundreds or even thousands of years ago? Sometimes only small parts, or ruins, of these places remain. But you can still visit them today.



In England, tourists and scientists alike are amazed by Stonehenge, a group of huge, rough-cut stones set in circles. Scientists believe that ancient people built Stonehenge as a gathering place. Much of the monument is gone, but scientists think that when it was first built, an earth wall about 98 metres across circled it. Thirty blocks of grey sandstone stood like guards 4 metres above the ground.



Another wonder from long ago is the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt. Pyramids were built by Egyptians about 4,500 years ago as tombs for their kings. The Great Pyramid contains more than 2 million stone blocks.



In Peru, you can visit the ruins of Machu Picchu, once a walled city on the top of a mountain. It was built during the late 1400’s by the Inca and was probably a home for the Inca royal family.



The longest structure ever built is the Great Wall of China. Its main part stretches more than 8,850 kilometres. The wall was built to protect the northern Chinese border against enemies. Most of the wall that stands today was built in the 1400’s.



Another famous ruin is the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. The structure was completed in A.D. 90. From that time until 404, the Colosseum was a place where people could watch fights between gladiators who were slaves or paid fighters. Battles between men and wild animals and other events entertained Romans. The Colosseum was later abandoned. Many of its stones were used to build other structures.



The Colosseum was the largest outdoor theatre in ancient Rome. It could seat about 50,000 people. It is made of brick and concrete and is surrounded by 80 entrances.



The Parthenon is a famous ruin on top of a hill in Athens, Greece. It was constructed between 447 and 432 B.C. The Parthenon was a temple built to honour the Greek goddess Athena.



The Parthenon is shaped like a rectangle. It stands about 18 metres high. When the Parthenon was built, it had many brightly coloured statues and sculptured panels that showed stories from ancient Greece. Today, many of those statues are at museums in Athens and in London, England.



 



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What are modern wonders of the world?



People have built many incredible structures. Some soar to dizzying heights. Others cross huge lakes or rivers. Here are just a few modern wonders you can see around the world.



The Eiffel Tower is a huge iron tower in Paris. Built for a world’s fair in 1889, the tower rises 300 metres. You can take stairs or lifts to the top. The Eiffel Tower was the highest structure in the world for many years.



In Toronto, Canada, stands the CN Tower, one of the world’s highest free-standing structures. The communications and observation tower stands 553 metres high. It was completed in 1976.



In 1998, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge opened in Japan. Its main suspension span, the world’s longest, stretches 1,990 metres across the Akashi Strait. The bridge took about 10 years to build.



The Channel Tunnel is an undersea railway that connects the United Kingdom with France. It opened in 1994. Fast electric trains carry cars and buses, people and goods through the tunnel, under the English Channel. The journey can take less than 35 minutes.



The Suez Canal waterway joins the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea in Egypt. It is 190 kilometres long and 19.5 metres deep. When the canal opened in 1869, ships travelling between England and India no longer had to sail around Africa. This shortened the trip by 8,000 kilomteres!



Another famous canal was built between North America and South America to link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. When the Panama Canal was finished in 1914, it shortened the trip between New York City, New York and San Francisco, California, by 14,500 kilometres. Ships no longer had to sail around South America.



 



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Which is the tallest mountain in Europe?



Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano and the highest mountain in Europe. Its summit is 18,510 feet (5,642 meters) above sea level. It is located in Russia.



With an elevation of 18,510 feet (5,642 meters), it is part of the Caucasus Range that straddles Asia and Europe, although most geographers place it in Europe. This makes it the tallest mountain in Europe and one of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains in each of the continents and elite climbers aspire to summit all of them.



Mount Elbrus’ prominence —a measure of how distinct a mountainis from nearby peaks — is 15,554 feet (4,741 m), making it the 10th most prominent mountain in the world. The east summit is slightly lower at 18,442 feet (5,621 m).



Elbrus has a unique cable car system, which was built on the south side of the mountain from 1959 to 1976. The cable car reaches 12,500 feet (3,658 m).  From there, most climbers take the Standard Route up the south side to the summit.



While the lack of crevasses can lull climbers into a false sense of safety, the Standard Route is challenging due to the snow, high winds and a high elevation. About 15 to 30 climbers die each year, which is a fairly high ratio of climbers to climber deaths when compared to other mountains.



 



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Which is the largest ice cave in the world?



The Eisriesenwelt is one of nature’s jewels. It is located in Werfen, Austria, about 40km south of Salzburg and is accessible by a steep cable car ride.



The Eisriesenwelt is the largest ice cave in the world. Gigantic walls of blue ice greet you as you enter the 42 km-long labyrinth of caves in the mountains of the Tennengebirge. Although the cave extends for over 42 km, only the first kilometre, the area that tourists are allowed to visit, is covered in ice. The rest of the cave is formed of limestone.



Eisriesenwelt was formed by the Salzach River, which eroded passageways into the mountain. The ice formations in the cave were formed by thawing snow which drained into the cave and froze during winter. Since the entrance to the caves is open year-round, chilly winter winds blow into the cave and freeze the snow inside. In summer, a cold wind from inside the cave blows toward the entrance and prevents the formations from melting.



The chilly winds blowing in and out of the cave freeze the water from the melting snow that trickles into the cracks and crevices of the rocks. The result is a crystalline wonderland of natural ice formations. Apart from the frosty stalagmites and stalactites, the shapes resemble a gushing river frozen solid in time. The more you gaze, the more variety of forms you can imagine, such as a waterfall, caste, an icy chapel or an organ! When the guide sets off magnesium flare, the cave gleams with an ethereal glow. Here, the temperature hovers at 0  and lower even in the height of summer. So visitors have to wear warm jackets and gloves.



Before the cave was studied by scientists, locals believed that it was an entrance to Hell and refused to explore it. Though it was first discovered by Anton Pooselt in 1879, expeditions to the cave began only after over 30 years.



 



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