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The Hamilton Spectator
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Thursday July 23, 2009
The world's most impressive tides. The highest waterfall on Earth. The tallest mountain in Africa.

A group called the New 7 Wonders has come up with a contest in which people can vote for the "new seven wonders of nature."

The choices can be made over the next year-and-a-half from a list of 28 finalists, including the Bay of Fundy in Canada, Angel Falls in Venezuela and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The winning seven spots will be announced in 2011.

Many of the 28 finalists announced yesterday are traditional picks, such as the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon rainforest. But there are also a couple of lesser-known spots that might send folks scurrying for their atlases, including the Bu Tinah Shoals of the United Arab Emirates, the Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan and Lebanon's Jeita Grotto.

Niagara Falls would be a no-brainer in many people's eyes, but it didn't make the cut because folks in the state of New York apparently didn't want to spend any money to promote the cause. (One would have thought they could find money in President Obama's bailout plan, but perhaps not).

Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber, who started the New 7 Wonders group, says he expects a billion people will vote online and over the telephone in months to come.

Folks around the world came up with an initial list of 261 natural landmarks. That was pared to 77 top vote-getters, and a panel of experts whittled that down to the 28 finalists, using criteria such as geographical balance (you can't have Canada hogging everything), diversity and the importance to human life. Continued....

The best of a wonder-full world
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