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Top 15 Amazing Natural Wonders

StewWriter . . . Comments

The world is inundated with the most prolific beauties of nature ever witnessed. Nearly everywhere there are inhabitants, an amazing piece of Earth’s wonder is never too far away. From huge forests to enormous collections of marine life, our planet shares its natural glory with us in some of the most astounding areas imaginable. Here are 15:

15. Central Sikhote Alin Russian Federation


The Sikhote Alin mountain range contains one the richest and most unusual temperate forests of the world. It is a mixing zone between taiga (an area characterized by coniferous forests) and the subtropics where southern species such as the tiger and Himalayan bear cohabit with northern species such as brown bear and lynx. The site runs form the peaks of the Sikote Alin to the Sea of Japan and is important for the survival of many endangered species such as the Amur tiger.

14. Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn – Switzerland


One of the most glaciated areas in the Alps, the site includes Europe’s largest glacier and a range of classic features resulting from glacial activity such as U-shaped valleys, cirques (an amphitheatre-like valley), horn peaks and moraines (any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated debris). It provides an outstanding geological record of the uplift and compression that formed the High Alps. The diversity of Alpine wildlife is represented in a range of alpine and sub-alpine habitats, and plant colonization in the wake of retreating glaciers provides an outstanding example of plant succession. The impressive vista of the North Wall of the High Alps, centred on the mountains of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau, has played an important role in European literature and art.

13. Cerrado Protected Areas Brazil

Argentina - Iguazu Falls - Tight From Above

The two sites included in the designation contain flora and fauna and key habitats that characterize the Cerrado – one of the world’s oldest and most diverse tropical ecosystems. For millennia, the sites have acted as refuges for species during periods of climate change and will be vital for maintaining Cerrado biodiversity during future climate fluctuations.

12. Alejandro de Humboldt National Park Cuba


Complex geology and varied topography have led to a diversity of ecosystems and species unmatched in the insular Caribbean and created one of the most biologically diverse tropical island sites on earth. Many of the underlying rocks are toxic to plants and so species must adapt in order to survive in these hostile environments. This unique process of evolution has resulted in the development of many new species and the park is one of the most important sites in the Western Hemisphere for the conservation of endemic (characteristic of) flora. Endemism of vertebrates and invertebrates is also very high.

11. Galápagos Islands Ecuador


Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000km from the South American continent, the19 islands of the Galápagos have been called a unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. Ongoing volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. Located at the confluence of three oceanic currents, the Galápagos is a “melting pot” of marine species. These processes, along with the isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finches – which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, following his visit in 1835.

10. Lake Turkana National Parks Kenya


Southern Island National Park has been added to Kenya’s Lake Turkana National Parks World Heritage site. The most saline of Africa’s large lakes, Turkana is an outstanding laboratory for the study of plant and animal communities. The three National Parks are a stopover point for migrant waterbirds and are important breeding grounds for Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and a range of venomous snakes. The Koobi Fora deposits, rich in mammalian, molluscan and other fossil remains, have contributed more to understanding paleoenvironments than any other site on the continent.

9. Yellowstone Wyoming, Montana, Idaho (USA)


Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,472 square miles (8,987 km²), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. Half of the world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining, nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth’s northern temperate zone. Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have been documented, including several that are either endangered or threatened. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Grizzlies, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk live in the park.

8. The Grand Canyon Arizona (USA)

Canyon5 Lg-1

The canyon, created by the Colorado River over a period of 6 million years, is 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29 km) and attains a depth of more than a mile (1.6 km). Nearly two billion years of the Earth’s history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.

7. Columbia Ice Fields Alberta, Canada


The Columbia Ice field is located in the Canadian Rockies, astride the Continental Divide of North America. The ice field lies partly in the northwestern tip of Banff and the southern end of Jasper National Park. It is about 325 km² in area, 100 to 365 metres (328′ to 1,197′) in depth and receives up to seven meters (23 feet) of snowfall per year. The ice field feeds eight major glaciers, including: Athabasca Glacier, Castleguard Glacier, Columbia Glacier, Dome Glacier, Stutfield Glacier, and the Saskatchewan Glacier. [Image Source – copyright Matthew Walters]

6. The Great Barrier Reef Australia

Dreamstimeweb 7417461 Reef-Full

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s Largest coral reef system. It is composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for 2,600 kilometers (1,616 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometers (132,974 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from orbit and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. The Great Barrier Reef supports a wide diversity of life, and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.

5. Angel Falls Venezuela

Angel Falls Majestic-1

Angel Falls is the world’s highest free-falling, freshwater waterfall at 979 m (3,212 ft), with a clear drop of 807 m (2,648 ft). It is located in the Canaima National Park, in the Gran Sabana region of Bolivar State, Venezuela. The height of the falls is so great that before getting anywhere near the ground the water is buffeted by the strong winds and turned into mist. The base of the falls feeds into the Churun River, a tributary of the Carrao River.

4. Vredefort Dome Johannesburg, South Africa


Two billion years ago a meteorite 10km in diameter hit the earth about 100km southwest of Johannesburg, creating an enormous impact crater. This area, near Vredefort in the Free State, is now known as the Vredefort Dome. It was voted South Africa’s seventh World Heritage site at Unesco’s 29th World Heritage Committee meeting in Durban in July 2005. The meteorite, larger than Table Mountain, caused a thousand-megaton blast of energy that is now considered the largest meteor impact sight on Earth.

3. Aurora Borealis Northern Hemisphere

Aurora Borealis

Auroras are natural different colored light displays, which are usually observed in the night sky, particularly in the polar zone. In northern latitudes, it is known as the aurora borealis, named after the Roman goddess of the dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for north wind, Boreas. It often appears as a greenish glow (or sometimes a faint red), as if the sun were rising from an unusual direction. The aurora borealis is also called the ‘northern lights’, as it is only visible in the North sky from the Northern Hemisphere. The aurora borealis most often occurs from September to October and from March to April.

2. The Amazon Rainforest South America

Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest is a moist broadleaf forest in the Amazon Basin of South America. The area is also known as Amazonia or the Amazon Basin, and encompasses seven million square kilometers (1.2 billion acres), though the forest itself occupies some 5.5 million square kilometers, located within nine nations: Brazil (with 60 percent of the rainforest), Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining tropical rainforest in the world.

1. Milford Sound New Zealand


Milford Sound is located in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island. Although called a sound, it is more accurately classified as a fjord. Milford Sound, the most famous tourist site of New Zealand, has also been called an eighth Wonder of the World by Rudyard Kipling. It is situated within the Fiordland National Park which is in turn part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1200 metres or more on either side. Among the peaks are The Elephant at 1517 m (4977 ft), said to resemble an elephant’s head, and Lion Mountain, 1302 m (4271 ft), in the shape of a crouching lion. Lush rain forests cling precariously to these cliffs, while seals, penguins, and dolphins frequent the waters. The drive to Milford Sound itself passes through unspoiled mountain landscapes before entering the 1.2 km Homer Tunnel which emerges into rain-forest carpeted canyons that descend to the sound. Near Milford Sound are also locations used to film some of the scenes of the Argonath in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Contributor: StewWriter

  • fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck i need to gey out

  • omg i meant “get” out. good list . cheers

  • downhighway61

    beautiful pictures. my goal is to see the aurora borealis before i die. or the southern one, i’m not picky. i can’t believe i haven’t seen any of these though! maybe the grand canyon next month….

  • Mavoonie

    wooow that thing from yellowstone blew me away

  • Daniel

    I certainly hope StewWriter didn’t pick a New Zealand location for numero uno in order to appease jfrater :p

    Great list!

  • suzi

    I am thrilled that I have seen a few of these, and now have something to look forward to, getting to a few more on the list.
    Our earth is such a treasure. I will never apologize for caring about it and wishing to see it’s beauty and health preserved.

  • Daniel: haha he didn’t – I removed one of his choices and added item 1 myself :)

  • sdggrant

    Interesting list! I’ve seen the Grand Canyon so many times though, that I hope I NEVER do again! Its too damned hot, and standing at the edge makes you want to sh*t your pants!

  • kiwiboi

    jfrater – in that case can I suggest that the underrated NZ object of beauty commonly known as Pomare Station be considered for inclusion ;)

  • Daniel

    jfrater: I knew something was fishy!!!

    And hey, when are you going to accept my friend request on Facebook? I’m sporting the listverse application and then I could tell me friends that I have a celebrity on my friends list :p

  • kiwiboi: HAHAHAH only if urine scented environments are to be included!

    Daniel: I didn’t see the invite – but I haven’t been there for a while – I am very lax with facebook.

  • Mikerodz

    This is very informative list. Thanks Stewriter.

  • DanOhh

    One natural wonder was left out. My back yard. The area has been untouched by humans for months. The natural flora (weeds) have overtaken much of the area and archeologist have found that an ancient society of five year olds must of lived there at one time. The scientists have found that it is difficult to investigate the area due to the extraordinarily large amounts of “canine-land-mines”.

  • Glad you all liked it! I made this list like 2 months ago! Oh, and I had a sneaking suspicion Jamie would tweak it a bit! Cheers! ;-)

  • cnorman

    I wonder what all these will look like in 100 years

  • stormy617

    Sometimes I think we forget how beautiful our world can be. Thank you for the reminder!!

    I have always wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. I am glad that both of these were included.

  • DiscHuker

    dan: that was funny. the bomb squad needs to come to my backyard also.

  • Jackie

    What exactly is that picture of for the Yellowstone National Park?

    This is a great list, I didn’t know about some of these.

  • Jade

    Wonderful List!

  • evan

    jackie, its a hotspring where different algea live on the surface creating the colors.

  • Jackie

    Thanks Evan, I thought that’s what it was because I know that’s what Yellowstone is known for having, but I was confused about the colors…now I know!

  • Bryce

    i live in Rhode Island USA and a couple years ago on the day before halloween, the auroura borealis came down and we were able to see it which is a once in a lifetime thing to see it from that far south. it was amazing.

  • Mom424

    Great List Stewwriter! and that spot in NZ is sooo beautiful. In fact so beautiful they bored a hole to it…lol
    ps: I lived in Norhtern Alberta as a kid,,,the northern lites are better than TV,,,and TV was pretty new when i was a kid…

  • magnolia_snooze

    i’ve seen about more than half of these places the only ones i haven’t seen are #3, #4, #10 #12…

    i have a very very very big family…. w00t?

  • I haven’t seen any of these things, but I’d LOVE to see the Northern Lights.

    The only thing that might qualify as a Natural Wonder that I’ve seen is Niagara Falls. I never get sick of seeing that!

  • Awesome list, but you forgot to include the entire state of Vermont.

  • copperdragon

    I have been to the Grand Canyon numerous times.

    I think Meteor Crater (also in Northern Arizona) is better than Vredefort Dome. While the dome maybe larger, Meteor Crater is (possibly the only) perfectly preserved, easily identifiable and easily reached meteorite impact site.

  • sdggrant

    I just watched a show about Yellowstone on the history channel…Its crazy to think that if yellowstone erupted, the world would end. Pretty much all of America would flat out be destroyed/buried under hundreds of feet of ash…Then the rest of the world would be thrown into an ice age. Crazy stuff…

  • Jon

    Taking notes from the list of how to make yourself sound more intelligent, i would like to point out that the colorado river did not create the grand canyon. The head waters of the river are at a lower elevation that the top of the canyon. So in relation, for the river to have started the carving process it would have to have flowed uphill.

  • kiwiboi

    Jon – “the colorado river did not create the grand canyon” – that’s a bold statement, especially as the scientific consensus seems to say that it did. I’m sure the Colorado River is much different in terms of its profile than it was some 6 million years ago; also, given the vast range of different geological matter making up the general area, it is entirely plausible that differing rates of erosion might account for the river flowing “uphill” today.

    Still…I am not a geologist, so what do I know… ;)

  • kiwiboi

    erm..that last bit should read “differing rates of erosion might account for the river *not* flowing “uphill” today.”

    (An edit button would be nice)

  • downhighway61

    he he. bomb squad picking up dog poo. i kid you not, that has happened in my backyard.

  • Diogenes

    The Grand Canyon is so much better, now that they put that really long escalator that goes to the 7eleven at the bottom!

    I geuss The Amazon Rainforest looses a number place, in the top ten, each year huh? heh heh.

    I haven’t been to but one of these which isn’t on the list. White Sands, you know, right next to the famous missile range in New Mexico.
    This is true; The welcome center has a pamplet on various bombs to look out for, one particular one is described as looking like a plastic ball a child might want to pick up.

    Everytime I see images of New Zealand, I want to go. Gotta love lush and fierce landscape. Do they have walls around the cities and do they really have hobbits there?..Because I don’t think those were sets.

  • The Mayon Volcano in the Philippines should have been included… Perfect Cone!

  • SubliminalDeath666

    Ahhh….. Venezuela! Home of not only the Angel Falls, but to Simon Bolivar, liberator of South America, home of arepas and empanadas and much more. I’d been at the end of El Salto Angel or Angel Falls. I would love to base jump off of that mystical waterfall…..

  • Great list! With a list like this, however, you’re always going to leave something worthwhile out – my vote would go to Ayers Rock/Uluru in Australia.

  • Diogenes

    What does base jumping off a mystical falls do to one’s sense of the cosmos standing still in one’s brain, Senior SubliminalDeath666 ?

  • Paramnesia

    Cool list.
    I’d love to see Aurora Australis.

  • goatmissile

    Beauty! Reminds me of the bucket list. We ought to live like we only have six months left. I’m outta here. Meet me at the falls…we’ll base jump it.

  • TMo

    I would like to nominate the Great Blue Hole in Belize. Never been there, only been to the Grand Canyon on this list (pictures can’t do it justice); congrats this is my favorite list in a while. Very interesting and beautiful.

  • I pink puffy heart Yellowstone, and would love to go back to see it again, as for the other wow.

  • kiwiboi

    TMo – that Great Blue Hole is truly amazing !! Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Number 14 is incorrect, the largest glacier in Europe in volume is Vatnajökull, Iceland but the largest in area is Austfonna on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard. According to Wikipedia.

  • Posy

    What about The Giant’s Causeway

  • a fan

    WTF??? 3 days-no list, come on man i love this website for its great idea, quality and the daily lists, MAKE A NEW LIST

  • Cyn

    i’m sorry but J’s been on holiday, so the frequency of new lists has been less than usual. things will resume to normal soon enough. please be patient. meanwhile, check out the archives. there are over 300 lists. :)

  • Bill

    wow… this world is a beautiful place. I only knew a handful of these places actually existed. Time to go travelling

  • Pyrratus

    I saw the Aurora Borealis from a plane once, I actually cried because it was so beautiful.

  • a fan: I am back now – expect a new list shortly :)

  • a fan

    Sorry man, i didnt know, good to have you back

  • I’ve been lucky enough to see both 6 and 7. The barrier reed is breathtaking, and we took one of the tours onto one of the glaciers (Athabasca I think) of the ice fields. The water there is so pure you can drink it. It tastes great but it’s bloody cold!

  • RobS

    Northern lights, oh yeah…
    I live in Northern Ohio (USA) and several years ago, I was helping a friend out on his dairy farm and if you know anything about being in farming country, you know that after the sun sets, it gets DARK. No ambient light, whatsoever.
    Anyhoo, I was walking from the barn back to the house and suddenly, in front of me, the entire north half of the sky lit up with undulating green and pink curtains of light.
    Blew. Me. Away.
    The display went on for about 10 minutes and it’s something I’ll never forget.
    Never seen it since.

  • Cyn

    a fan –
    usually site info at either or both the blog and the forums
    if you ever wanna know whats going on :)

  • evilk8

    RobS – just. say. no. to. drugs. ;)

  • Hannah

    If I may just brag for a moment, my hometown of Juneau, Alaska, has magnificent displays of the northern lights, like # 3, lots of glaciers and ice fields, like #14 & #7, and plenty of inlets and fjords that look like #1. That’s why I live here!

  • Miss Nimbus

    Makes me proud to be a kiwi…..

  • No list on wonders of this world is complete without Mount Everest. Known locally as Sagar Matha (meaning forehead of the sky); the Mount Everest which has a height of 20002 is highest location on earth. It is located between Nepal and Tibet

  • Justine

    Yeh I live not far from Milford Sound! Its surprising how many people in New Zealand don’t realise they live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world and take it for granted! Milford Sound is just ONE of the many breathtakingly beautiful sights in New Zealand!
    I strongly suggest that anyone who hasn’t been to New Zealand before should check this place out! Especially Central Otago, I live only 1 hour away from the region, I’ve been there many times (E.g. Queentown, Wanaka etc), yet every time I go there I’m still blown away by the scenery I’ve known all my life!

    Sorry I’m bragging now, I just love my country lol

  • Justine: my best holiday in NZ was a trip down the West Coast of the South Island with a week in Queenstown and Wanaka! Amazing places.

  • Justine

    That would have been an amazing trip! Lucky you!

  • OK

    I thought the palawan underground river would at least get into the list :p

  • albert0

    I think that the amazon sounds great, but I hate the thoughts of spiders being there.

  • mahtab

    hi! they are all intresting.i bet there are some more beautifull and fascinating places in all over the world but they are not well known for us to visit. thanks alot!

  • arvaamita

    I am kind of late – just discovering this site!

    Anyway – I lived in Finland for a while (I am originally from Las Vegas Nevada where there is a constant glow in the sky from all those damned casinos!) and the first time I saw the Aurora Borealis I was stunned speechless! The entire sky was lit up! It was gorgeous! And in fact, on cloudy nights the overcast sky just kind of glows with brilliant color. I felt like I was in some movie where alien ships were landing!

    Amazing list! Thanks!

  • doglover

    Milford Sound needs an update: sandflies!
    Amazing annoying small creatures who bite u at will, and the billions of them. Without proper DEET repelent you’re eaten alive :P
    Anyway, amzing scene and nature!
    Ow, the Homer tunnel is an adventure by itself….. It’s 1.2 Km long downwards tunnel (almost) without lightning!
    When i entered it, i passed a ‘Greyhound bus’. As it went uphill I had to give it priority. Although I drive 18 years without any accident and fear, this is my only and most horryfiing exp. while driving :D

  • ako

    Which is better? Tubbataha reef (philippines)or great barrier reef (Aust)?

  • anna

    this one is realy great

  • aurora fan

    omg. the aurora.. a must see before i die.

    right next to sumo wrestling

  • nzkitten

    i am so proud…
    i live about an hour and a half drive from #1

  • macabre_doll
  • mattw

    Any chance of giving the photographers the credit they deserve rather than using images without permission?



  • Ned

    No Roraima? Otherwise, great list.

  • DAC

    I have been to some o these beauties but none of them has left me awestruck like Crater Lake located in Oregon. It is a 12,000 foot volacano that has collapsed and filled with clear rain water nearly 2000 ft deep. There is no way to discribe the blueness of the water and pics just don’t do it justice.

  • doodlefish

    Although I live in the U.K. I’ve visited the States on a number of occasions. I totally agree with the inclusion of Yellowstone with its eerie hot pools and geysers (though you’d be hard put to spot any wildlife apart from bison and the occasional elk!), and of course the Grand Canyon is magnificently awe-inspiring.
    But my vote for the most beautiful place on the planet goes to Monument Valley. Seen early in the morning from a light aircraft the incredible rock formations in their colours of apricot, ochre and rose are simply breathtaking.

  • chapman

    note for Sinu Kumar: the actual height for mount everest is 29,029 feet or (29,035) feet. :)

  • oouchan

    I have not seen any of these. The sad part is I live in Arizona and have not visited the Grand Canyon. :(

    I would love to visit all of these places, if only I had the money to do so. Nice list.

  • Ne0

    well natural wonders is the only thing in world which is pure joy u cant find any thing better than this hope some day i have enough time and money to travel all over the world and visit this sites

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  • Wilko

    Ive seriously gotta go me to Milford Sound. looks nuts.

  • Wilko

    I guess I didnt edit that last post too well.

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  • Suzane

    I am form Africa Vredefort Dome is a most popular travel destinations in africa. The Vredefort structure is currently regarded the biggest and oldest clearly visible impact structure on Earth. It just beats the Sudbury impact structure in Canada for this ranking. The Sudbury structure is some 200 km in diameter and is estimated to be 1.85 billion years old.

  • YoungAnabaptistRadical

    I found Nemo when I went to the Barrier Reef! It was awesome!

  • Rod_M

    I beleive that Coco’s Island deserved at least a mention here, but maybe is just me :)


  • negativecreep07

    Nice to see Milford Sound included, I drove there recently and it is a stunning place. Second wettest area in the world apparently

  • Natalie

    Yay! Milford Sound! xD

  • Nice list, but there's a typo in #4: change "impact sight" to "impact site"

  • TCor

    I know this list is ancient, but I had to say something. I thought marine iguanas were unique to the Galapagos. I remember watching animal planet when I was young and seeing the less awesome Steve Irwen (Jeff Corwin) swim with them there. I could be wrong, but I think it’s marine iguanas. Also I remember seeing land iguanas in Puerto Rico…

  • Impressive pictures! Angel falls is one of the most extreme place, which worth seeing, Been there with my friends we were mesmerized with its beauty! it was like dreaming. It was really breathtaking experience.
    <a href="http://.” target=”_blank”>.

  • I want to see this place realy

  • birki jemal

    wow better to say SUBHANALLAH

  • Pointless

    The Vredefort Dome is not in Johannesburg. Actually you can fit the whole city and more inside the crater.

    It’s not even in the same province.

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  • Kent

    The author makes an error in the Galápagos Islands summary. Charles Darwin remarked to the sea iguanas, not the land iguanas. The Galápagos hosts the world’s only swimming iguanas.

  • MzoeN

    I’m shocked! How is it possible that the Victoria Falls did not make it into this list?!

  • joe

    where is the victoria falls have u ever seen it before

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