The hunt for the 8th Wonder of the World

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Check out these glorious images from VirtualTourist.com’s 8th Wonder of the World “competition”

Let’s call it what it is: VirtualTourist.com’s 8th Wonder of the World feature is a gimmick. A shameless attempt to lure your eyeballs to their website and encourage interaction.

Thing is, dear reader, this gimmick might just be worthy of your attention. Allow us to explain.

Earlier this year the website put out a call to tourism boards (and similar organisations) around the world, asking them to nominate an ancient, natural or manmade landmark from the area they represent, which they felt could be classed as the 8th Wonder of the World.*

Keen observers of the Seven Wonders meme will note this is far from the first attempt to modernise the list, and that any eighth wonder will have little connection with the entries on the original and most famous list. But let’s put that aside for now.

In all they received 323 nominations. The “8th wonder of the world” will be selected from this short very long list by way of a public vote. Visitors to the site can cast one vote a day. Voting opened on June 3 and is set to close on September 27.

The nominations are extremely diverse. So much so, that it’s kind of ridiculous that they’re pitted against one another.

For example, world-famous skyscraper Empire State Building is up against the obscure roadside curiosity that is Black Diamond’s Black Diamond. Also in the mix are Unesco World Heritage sites like Uluru, spectacular sites of natural interest including the Great Blue Hole and even whole towns (Buenos Aires) and nations (The Maldives). Not to mention, local treasures (such as Stew Leonards’s, a family-owned store) and high-end chain hotels (such as the Mandarin Oriental in Prague). It’s not exactly a fair competition.

VirtualTourist is a US company, so the list is skewed towards America. There are just over 100 (101 at our hastily conducted count) American sites, split between 30 states. There are entries from 58 other countries. England (15), Australia (11) and Canada (11) have the most representatives. Scotland has two entries, while Wales has one. Ireland also has one entry.

Inevitably, given the way the list was put together, there will be glaring omissions. Wieliczka Salt Mine (one of our 3 must-see caves) and the monuments at Mahabalipuram immediately came to our minds. It’s probably no exaggeration to say that a handful of equally strong, yet entirely different, lists of this type could be made.

So why do we think there’s value in this gimmick? Well, we guarantee, yes, guarantee, that if you take the time to look through the list you’ll discover a new interesting place. It’ll take a while of course. So it might be worth bookmarking the page and coming back to it on a rainy day.

Check out our random sample of 15 nominees below. The featured image is of Jerash, north of Jordan.

8th Wonder of the World
12 Apostles, Victoria
8th Wonder of the World
Banff
8th Wonder of the World
Blue Lagoon, Malta
8th Wonder of the World
Bora Bora
8th Wonder of the World
Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine, Florida, USA
8th Wonder of the World
Deadvlei, Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia
8th Wonder of the World
Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah, United States
8th Wonder of the World
Empire State Building, New York City, USA
8th Wonder of the World
Grand Canal between Beijing and Hangzhou, China
8th Wonder of the World
Humpback Bridge, Alleghany County, Virginia, USA
8th Wonder of the World
Jerash, Jordan
8th Wonder of the World
Matterhorn, Pennine Alps, border of Switzerland and Italy
8th Wonder of the World
The Pitons, Saint Lucia
8th Wonder of the World
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, USA
8th Wonder of the World
Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, Texas, USA

*What encouraged Tourism Boards, Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Bureaus to make submissions? In VirtualTourist’s words, “the winning wonder will receive a massive media relations campaign push”.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

The hunt for the 8th Wonder of the World was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (631 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.