I’ve answered 42 of these Wonders of X questions, and this is the 43rd. The penultimate one in the series. I’m quite sad about that, actually, but the show must go on. Only one to go, people! Then we can put this whole thing behind us, a whole thing dreamt up by some lunatic. Oh, wait, that was me. Hmm, anywho, where better to depart our train on this journey than at a stop where we can gaze around at the world and marvel at its majesty? And try our best to ignore the massive corruption allegations that blighted this Wonders list. It’s not that hard to do. If this was a lecture, I’d have ran off stage by this point, distracting you with a funny juggling clown. Since this is the internet, you’re gonna have to imagine that clown is next to you. Unless you have a fear of clowns, but I suppose that would work, too.
The New 7 Wonders of Nature was an initiative started in 2007 and ran until 2011, to create a seven wonders list through global polling, the less successful sister of global warming. The Swiss were behind it. The polling attracted 100 million votes, but people weren’t prevented from voting multiple times, making the results subject to campaigns from tourism industries with the financial incentive of increased tourism. The organisers also used underhanded tactics. So this doesn’t sound like a great list. But it doesn’t bother me too much, because the point is to show off the beauty of Earth. Ah, how much I’ve learnt.
I really don’t care how beautiful Indonesia is, and it is beautiful, because no amount of beauty can make up for thousands of dragons. I cannot possibly state an island of dragons is anything but terrifying. The Patron Saint of England slayed a dragon, and whilst the dragons on Komodo are completely different, I don’t care. DRAGONS! Bloody hell, no. Table Mountain is very obvious and riddled with sweaty tourists. You’d get up there, see the view and immediately find yourself disturbed by screaming toddlers. No, thank you. The Amazon Rainforest. To be fair, there isn’t a great deal left. It’s a sad wonder. I don’t want a wonder to make me feel sad. And whilst Jeju Island is a volcanic island and dormant, I don’t want to go there. I really don’t want to visit a volcano. I don’t care if it’s dormant. It’s still a volcano. It’s as terrifying as the bloody dragons. Oh, and it’s a whole place.
Honestly, in 43 of these questions I’ve never had such a hard time trying to pick a favourite. The remaining three are all equally as beautiful. I’ll rule out Iguazu Falls because it’s well known. And I’ll also rule out Ha Long Bay. It is, unquestionably, one of the most special places on Earth, but with these questions, I’ve always tried to pick lesser-known wonders, to show off lesser-known corners of the Earth. Plus, Ha Long is being battered by tourism, so, I don’t want to encourage any more. No, I have somewhere else in mind.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Located 30 miles north of the city centre of Puerto Princesa, in Palawan, Philippines. It is an underground river in a cave system, of undeniable outstanding natural beauty. Just the most breathtaking, awe-inspiring and majestic treasure. 15 miles long. The caves contain stalactites, stalagmites and several large chambers, including The Italian’s Chamber, one of the largest on Earth, 393 yards long, with a volume of three million square yards. The whole park is spectacular, with plenty of flora and fauna, and the cave river is the gem at its heart. It is truly spectacular and stunning.
Puerto Princesa. My favourite new wonder of nature.
Photos: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
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