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Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

December 9th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Victoria Falls are one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls. The falls are situated on the Zambezi River, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and are roughly a 1.6 km (1 mile) wide and 128 m (420 ft) high. They are considered a remarkable spectacle because of the peculiar narrow slot-like chasm into which the water falls, so one can view the falls face-on.

David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer, visited the falls in 1855 and named them after Queen Victoria, though they were known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, the “smoke that thunders”. The falls are part of two national parks, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia and Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe, and are one of Southern Africa’s major tourist draws. They are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

December 9th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Grand Canyon is a colorful, steep-sided gorge, carved by the Colorado River, in northern Arizona, USA. The canyon appears on many versions of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World list, although none of these lists are by any means authoritative. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park — one of the first national parks in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of the Grand Canyon area, visiting on numerous occasions to hunt mountain lions and enjoy the scenery.

The canyon, created by the Colorado River cutting a channel over millions of years, is about 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6 to 29 kilometers) and attains a depth of more than a mile (1,600 m). Nearly 2000 million years of the Earth’s history has been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut through layer after layer of sediment as the Colorado Plateaus have uplifted.

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Paricutín Volcano, Mexico

December 9th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Paricutin is a volcano in the Mexican state of Michoacán, close to the village of the same name. It appears on many versions of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World list, although none of these lists are by any means authoritative.

Prior to 1943, this volcano did not exist. During the first several weeks of that year a number of strange thunderings were heard by the inhabitants in and around the small village of Paricutín, in spite of clear weather. These turned out to be caused by tremors occurring deep beneath the village. Seismic activity intensified until 20 February, when local farmer Dioniso Pulido witnessed the opening of a volcanic fissure in the middle of his cornfield. According to some accounts, villagers attempted to close the fissures by filling them with rocks and soil before small explosions and violent tremors began to shake the area. The residents of the nearby villages fled as pyroclastic activity began that day, and within 24 hours of the initial fissure the volcano had already built into a 50 metre high cone. Within a week this height had doubled.

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Polar Aurora

December 9th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

In astronomy, an aurora is an optical phenomenon characterized by colourful displays of light in the night sky, caused by the interaction of charged particles from the solar wind with the upper atmosphere of a planet. The most powerful aurorae tend to occur after coronal mass ejections.

(Source: Wikipedia)


Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

December 9th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Rio de Janeiro (meaning River of January in Portuguese), pron. IPA /χiu dʒi ʒaneiɾu/ in Brazilian Portuguese and /ʁiu də ʒɐnɐiɾu in European (African and Asian) Portuguese) is the name of both a state and a city in southeastern Brazil. Commonly known as just Rio (particularly in English), the city is considered by many to be among the most beautiful cities in the world. It is famous for the hotel-lined tourist beaches Copacabana and Ipanema, for the giant statue of Jesus, known as Christ the Redeemer ("Cristo Redentor") on the Corcovado mountain, and for its yearly Carnival celebration. It also has the biggest forest inside an urban region, called Floresta da Tijuca, or "Tijuca Forest".

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Great Barrier Reef, Australia

December 9th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef. The reef is located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia. It stretches over 2000 kilometres in length and can be seen from space. An ancient barrier reef similar to the Great Barrier Reef can be found in The Kimberlies.

The Great Barrier Reef first became known to Europeans when the explorer Captain James Cook ran aground it on June 11, 1770. The Great Barrier Reef however was known to Indigenous Australians whose occupation of the Australian continent extends back 40,000 to 60,000 years or more. [1] [2]. The oldest parts of the reef date from about 60,000 years ago.

The Great Barrier Reef is a large system of about 900 islands and over 3000 coral reefs, which mostly lie some distance from the mainland coastline. Due to its vast biodiversity, warm clear waters and its accessibility from the floating guest facilities called 'live aboards', the Reef is a very popular destination for tourists, especially scuba divers. Many cities along the Queensland coast offer boat trips to the reef on a daily basis. Several continental islands have been turned into resorts.

The Great Barrier Reef is sometimes referred to as the single largest organism in the world. In reality it is made up of many millions of tiny organisms, as are all coral formations.

(Source: Wikipedia)


Mount Everest (Jomo Lungma), Nepal

December 6th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth above mean sea level. Its summit ridge marks the border between Nepal and China, but the summit itself is in Nepal.

Mt. Everest has two main climbing routes, the southeast ridge from Nepal and the northeast ridge from Tibet, as well as 13 other less frequently climbed routes. Of the two main routes, the southeast ridge is technically easier and is the most frequently used route. It was the route used by Hillary and Tenzing in 1953. This was, however, a route decision dictated more by politics than by design as the Tibetan border was closed to foreigners in 1949.

Most attempts are made during April and May before the summer monsoon season. A change in the jet stream at this time of year also reduces the average wind speeds high on the mountain. While attempts are sometimes made after the monsoons in September and October, the additional snow deposited by the monsoons makes climbing even more difficult.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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