Feeling burned by that list of the seven ancient wonders of the world after you couldn't find the lighthouse during your visit to Alexandria or the Statue of Zeus at Olympia? Well, now there's a fresh list, voted on by 100 million people in an online poll, of the new seven wonders of the world, all of which exist now and can be visited.
The list includes the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and Machu Picchu. But some people think the list leaves out some undeniable wonders, and looking at the finalists, it's difficult to deny the concern.
The controversy surrounding the list is well summed up in the transcript of this conversation on the Columbian Missourian website. Don George, former Lonely Planet honcho and oft-cited travel expert, refers to the American Idol effect, in which certain places heavily promoted their local wonder and pushed out deserving candidates that didn't have major marketing efforts. The obvious example is the Pyramids of Giza, which didn't make it into the final seven. Frankly, I was surprised that a wonders-of-the-world list was even possible without the pyramids.
However, the website lists not just the winners but all the finalists, which seems like a pretty reasonable way of addressing the issue. For those who look to lists like this as inspiration, the inclusion of the finalists means even more ideas for future travel.
Even if you missed out on the voting, you can still nominate your favorite natural site for the upcoming seven natural wonders of the world contest.