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Similar to the other lists of wonders, there is no consensus on a list
of seven natural wonders of the world, as there has been debate over how
large the list should be. One of the many lists was compiled by CNN:
Great Barrier Reef
Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
The Grand Canyon is a very colorful, steep-sided gorge, carved by the
Colorado River, in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is largely contained
within the Grand Canyon National Park — one of the first national parks
in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent
of the Grand Canyon area, visiting on numerous occasions to hunt and
enjoy the scenery.
The canyon, created by the Colorado River cutting a channel over
millions of years, is about 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width
from 0.25 to 15 miles (0.4 to 24 kilometers), and attains a depth of
more than a mile (1 km). Nearly two billion years of the Earth's history
has been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut through
layer after layer of sediment as the Colorado Plateaus have uplifted.
The first recorded sighting of the Grand Canyon by a European was in
1540, Garcia Lopez de Cardenas from Spain. Grand Canyon was largely
unknown until after the U.S. Civil War. In 1869, Major John Wesley
Powell, a one-armed Civil War veteran with a thirst for science and
adventure, made a pioneering journey through the canyon on the Colorado
River. He accomplished this with nine men in four small wooden boats,
though only six men completed the journey. His party was, as far as we
know, the first ever to make such a trip. Powell referred to the
sedimentary rock units exposed in the canyon as "leaves in a great story
book". Long before that, the area was inhabited by Native Americans who
built settlements within the canyon walls and its many caves.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system,
composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands that stretch
for 2,600 kilometres (1,616 mi) and cover an area of approximately
344,400 km?. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of
Queensland in northeast Australia. A large part of the reef is protected
by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is sometimes
referred to as the single largest organism in the world. In reality, it
is made up of many millions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps.
The Great Barrier Reef supports a wide diversity of life and was
selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.CNN has labelled it one of the
seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust has
named it a state icon of Queensland.
The Great Barrier Reef's environmental pressures include water quality
from runoff, climate change and mass coral bleaching, cyclic outbreaks
of the crown-of-thorns starfish, overfishing, and shipping accidents.
Rio de Janeiro (IPA: Portuguese: "River of January"; is the name of
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