The New Seven Wonders of the World

So apparently for the past few years they’ve been compiling a list of finalists and close to 100 million people from all over the world have been voting by internet and by phone to determine the New Seven Wonders of the World.  I had no idea this “Architectural/Monument Idol” was going on, but found the results very interesting.

Of course, we all remember from our school days the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: The Great Pyramid at Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnarssus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

Rightfully so, since it is the only survivor from the ancient list, the Pyramids at Giza get an automatic place on the new list, which includes now the following by popular demand: Brazil’s Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Peru’s Machu Pichu, Mexico’s Chichen Itza Pyramid, the Colosseum at Rome, Jordan’s Petra, India’s Taj Mahal, and the Great Wall of China.

All of those that made the list are undeniably deserving.  However, it’s of interesting note that one finalist did not win a spot and was apparently heavily campaigned against: our very own Statue of Liberty.  Rivaling the Colossus of Rhodes, it bears all the hallmarks of an ancient and modern wonder: symbolic, iconic, and physically impressive.  The fact that it didn’t make the list indicates a very strong anti-American sentiment throughout the world (and most notably in Latin and South America, where Lady Liberty was rallied against and they managed to vote in three of their own wonders).  Other notable snubs from the list of finalists include France’s Eiffel Tower, England’s Stonehenge and the Monuments of Easter Island.

The most interesting inclusion I found was Jordan’s ancient city of Petra, a fascinating place I know little about:

Petra, Jordan (© Petr Svarc/Getty Images)

While the Pyramids at Giza and the Great Wall of China are arguably the most obvious no-brainers to make the list, the most deserving I feel is India’s Taj Mahal, which not only is the most aesthetically beautiful structure ever built by man, but also inspired Donald Trump to build one of my favorite casinos in Atlantic City:

Taj Mahal, Agra, India (© Corbis)

*photos courtesy of MSN.com’s travel section.

Written by David H. Schleicher