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Monday, March 03, 2014

Top 10 most beautiful natural wonders

You don’t need to get bothered by the mosquitoes and insects of the Amazon anymore. Neither do you need to spend your time amid thousands of tourists at the Niagara Falls. Without taking away the fact that these two natural wonders are extremely beautiful in their own unique way, they have become a little too common today. Many wonders that Mother Nature has to offer might still be hidden and unexplored despite the fact that we humans have been exploring the world ever since our evolution. But from all the natural wonders that we do know about, here is a list of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Natural Wonders of the world.

10. Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Mexico, which is famous for housing over eight colonies of monarch butterflies. The reserve is home to more than a billion butterflies who migrate to the reserve from distances of up to 4000 kms every year. The butterflies arrive at the reserve around the month of October and make the reserve their home throughout the winter period. During their stay at the reserve, these butterfly form clusters around the branches and trees, thereby covering them with a blanket of black and orange. Each cluster includes thousands of butterflies and sometimes, their combined weight is enough to bend the branch or cause it to snap. They begin to reproduce around the months of February – March and the best time to visit the reserve is when these magnificent creatures are ready to begin their mating rituals.

09. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago located close to Equador in the Pacific Ocean. The remote and isolated setting of these islands has made it possible for nature to develop an extremely unique ecosystem in the area. In fact, it was the Galapagos Islands which gave rise to Charles Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection. The Galapagos Islands also boast of an excellent wildlife with giant tortoises, marine iguanas, penguins, sea lions and a plethora of birds calling the islands their home. Don’t go to the islands expecting to find weird alien looking animals. All animals found in the Galapagos are quite normal species. In fact, they act as if some stupid creature has disturbed their natural habitat whenever they see a human in sight. Boat tours are the best ways of exploring the magnificent wildlife of the area and checking out the surreal sights that the 13 main islands and the 6 smaller isles have on offer.

08. Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, USA

The Yellowstone National Park covers a geographical area of about 3472 sq. miles and is full of numerous canyons, mountain ranges, rivers and lakes. The famous Yellowstone Lake, one of the most majestic high altitude lakes is located at the very centre of the Yellowstone Caldera, the biggest and largest super volcano in North America. In fact, about half of the geothermal features of the world are located in the Yellowstone National Park itself. The biggest tourist attraction of the area is the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the greatest and almost intact ecosystem in the northern temperate zone. It is full of magnificent species of birds, mammals, reptiles and fishes which are yet to be explored despite the fact that they have been exhaustively documented. There are several endangered and threatened species which can be found in the park as well. Some of the most common wildlife sightings include grizzly bears, bison, elk and wolves. Another tourist draw is the funnel shaped Morning Glory Pool. The Morning Glory Pool has been given its name due to its resemblance to a flower known as Morning Glory. The hot spring offers tourists with magnificent colours of yellow and orange, which are caused by the thermophillic bacteria that thrive here.

07. The Northern Lights, Northern Hemisphere

When it comes to exploring one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, it truly doesn’t get better than the Aurora Borealis, also know as the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights is a natural phenomenon which creates a mesmerizing display of colours in the night sky. The best sight of the Northern Lights is when the lights appear as waves all across the sky and give the feeling that they are dancing. However, the Northern Lights are only visible between the months of September – October and March – April in the Northern Hemisphere.

06. Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound is known to be the showpiece of the Fiordland National Park located in New Zealand. It stretches for a distance of 9 miles and boasts of rock faces which rise 3900 feet on each side. The main population of the area consists of dolphins, penguins and seals. Although known as a sound, the geographical feature is far closer to a fjord. It is also known to be one of the most famous sights in New Zealand and has been popularly called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Some of the most famous peaks of the Milford Sound include the Lion Mountain (resembling a crouching lion) and the Elephant Head (shaped like an elephant’s head).

05. The Himalayas, India, Nepal and Tibet

The Himalayan ranges are known to be a paradise on earth and are a haven for all mountain lovers. Nothing describes nature’s grandeur better than the majestic peaks of the Himalayan ranges where dramatic gorges give way to magnificent snow capped peaks and the surrounding landscape boasts of a scintillating rhododendron forest. Mount Everest, the highest mountain of the world, is also located in the iconic Himalayan mountain ranges and boasts of a huge historical importance. Located between the borders of Tibet and Nepal, Mount Everest rises to a height of 29029 feet. Some of the most popular animals found in the Himalayas include the brown bears, tigers, wild boars, crocodiles, elephants, musk deers, snow leopards and blue sheep.

04. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea. Known to be the largest coral reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 1900 miles and boasts of 2900 different reef formations, 900 islands and one of the most beautiful and diverse ecosystems of the planet. The Great Barrier Reef is also known for its mesmerizing coloured corals and a plethora of exotic marine life which includes dolphins, green sea turtles, clown fishes, whales and sea snakes.

03. Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina

The Iguazu Falls have long been known to be one of the highlights on any tour to Brazil or Argentina. The falls easily rank among the Top 10 most beautiful natural wonders of the world and consist of 275 different falls all along the Iguazu River. The most impressive fall is the Devil’s Throat, also known as the Garganta del Diablo which is 150 meters in width, 82 meters in height and 700 meters in length. The area is also home to more than 2000 species of plants, 70 different species of mammals and 400 bird species.

02. Grand Canyon, USA

The Grand Canyon is located in the state of Arizona and is known to be among the deepest gorges on the planet. The average depth of these gorges is about 1.6kms and the average width is about 16kms. The Grand Canyon was carved by Mother Nature over a period of 6 million years with the help of the Colorado River. The grandeur and the sheer intensity of light and shadow that can be seen during sunset and sunrise makes visitors scream with delight and each of the three rims are known to offer extremely diverse and unique experiences.

01. Ice Caves, Vatnajokull, Iceland

The Ice Caves, also known as the Crystal Caves, are known to be one of the most mesmerizing natural sights that the world has to offer. The jewel like interiors are known to seduce and captivate those who make the journeys and the picture perfect settings are among the most beautiful sights that you’ll ever see in your lifetime. What makes the Ice Caves so unique is that the glacial ice in the area is still active. As a result, the caves constantly change their shapes and locations all through the year and you just might become the first person or the very last person to explore a particular spot in the caves.

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