Friday, 26 September 2014

The Eighth Wonders of the World

Do you know The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? They are:

-Great Pyramid of Giza
.Hanging Gardens of Babylon
-Statue of Zeus at Olympia
-Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
-Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
-Colossus of Rhodes
-Lighthouse of Alexandria

However, the only one of these structure that exist today relatively intact, is the great Pyramid of Giza which was completed around 2680 BC.

The origin of the list is questionable, but usually attributed to the ancient Greek poet, Antipater of Sidon, which list he described in a poem composed about 140 BC and was popularised by Philo of Byzantium in his work "The Septem Orbis Miraculis", in a short description called "The seven sights of the world".
It is known that for Greek, the number seven represented perfection and plenty.

Inspired by that famous list, Bernard Weber, founder of New Open World Corporation, led a project to choose the new seven wonders of the world.
In 2001, New7wonders foundation launched a selection of 200 existing monuments to be chosen. In January 1, 2006 the foundation announced 21 finalists. Finally the results were announced on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. The winners:

- The Great Wall of China
- Petra (Jordan)
- Christ the Redeemer (Brazil)
- Machu Picchu (Peru)
- Chichen Itza (Mexico)
- Colosseum (Italy)
- Taj Mahal (India)
- Great Pyramid of Giza, as honorary candidate.

Immediately after the campaign to elect the man-made new seven wonder, in which more than 100 millions votes were cast, Mr Weber started a campaign to elect the New Seven Wonders of Nature.
Over 440 locations from over 220 countries entered as nominees. On January 1, 2009 a shortlist of 77 locations were chosen and in 2009 a selection of 28 finalists.
The winners were announced on November 11, 2011 after 500 million votes were cast.
The winners are:

- Amazon Rain forest and River (South American)
- Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
- Iguaçu Falls, a national park (Argentina/Brazil)
- Jeju Island (South Korea)
- Komodo Island, a national park (Indonesia)
- Puerto Princesa, underground river (Philippines)
- Table Mountain, a national park (South Africa)

Meanwhile, VirtualTourist, a travel website that's part of the TripAdvisor Media Group, led a campaign to choose the 8th Wonder of the world.
More than 330 tourist locations from 50 countries entered the contest that was conducted over a period of 4 months, from June to September 2013. The results were presented in Los Angeles, USA, on 1 November 2013.
The Chilean Torres del Paine National Park received the most votes and was declared the winner during a Los Angeles morning television show with the Chilean Actor Christian de la Fuente representing Chile in reception of the prize.

The park was founded on May 13, 1959 and was declared a Biosphere Reserve on April 28, 1978 by Unesco. Its area is 227,000 hectares which is part of the SNASPE, the protected wild area Chilean system, and therefore managed by Conaf, the national forest corporation.

The main attraction of the park is the Paine Massif, or Paine Mountain Range which is an eastern spur of the Andes Mountain Range but, once there, the visitors realise that are other impressive attractions such as huge glaciers, turquoise colour lakes, rivers and falls, ancient forests and rich flora and fauna.

The Torres del Paine National Park possesses an interesting water system which consists of numerous rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and cascades most of them fed by glaciers. The southern Patagonian Ice Field has 48 large glaciers and over hundreds smaller, some of them end up in the park such as the huge Glacier Grey, Serrano, Tyndall, Pingo and Dickson.

 The park has four defined vegetation zones:

-Pre-Andean scrub land
-Nothofagus forest, where lenga, Nothofagus pumilio, is the dominating species.
-Patagonian steppe
-Andean desert

Part of the flora is exclusive to the park area and Province of Última Esperanza, also the park has 7 documented species of orchidaceae and 85 non-native plant species.

The park is the natural habitat of 25 species of mammals, among them the puma, guanaco, foxes and the endangered Chilean deer, huemul. 126 species of birds such as the Andean condor, ñandú (rhea), eagle, Magellanic owl, woodpecker, goose, ibis, to name a few. Also 6 species of fish, amphibious and reptiles.

The park also feature an excellent lodging service: the visitor can choose from a five-star hotels to a very good lodge or a camping service with all the comforts of a good hotel.
There is a good transport service, park ranger information service, shelters and meal services.

The Torres del Paine National Park is in Region of Magellan, XII region of Chile.
See map:

Interesting facts:

- The park can be visited year around however is recommended late december to late february, during southern summer time when the weather is good and daylight is very long, 17 hours.

- Drinking water can be found throughout the park as it is completely pure.

- Activities: trekking, hiking, fishing, mountaineering, rafting, kayaking, horse riding, wildlife observation, photography.

- Related attraction: Milodon Cave: see post: "Region of Magellan's Natural Monuments."

- Informations: