The new Seven Wonders of the World
If you've seen the movie Gladiator, then you've seen the Colosseum -
well, a CGI-enhanced version of it anyway. Built in Rome sometime around
AD 70, it was the first freestanding amphitheatre.
Others in that era were dug out and built into the sides of hills or
mountains to provide stability. Gladiator contests, group combats,
battle re-enactments, and other productions were held there to an
audience of nearly 50,000. Today, even after some renovations in the
1990s, the wear and tear from poor weather, natural disaster and
vandalism show. Nonetheless, visitors flock to this amazing sight daily.
Great Wall of
We've all heard the claim that the Great Wall of China is the only
man-made object visible from space. But it just isn't true. According to
NASA, not only is the wall not clearly visible from low Earth orbit,
other man-made things are.
The space myth aside, the Great Wall of China is definitely a modern
marvel and rightfully belongs amid the other seven wonders. Contrary to
popular belief, the wall isn't one continuous structure. It's actually
made up of several separate structures that connect and branch out here
and there. Including the branches, it covers approximately 4,500 miles.
If Petra is the city in the rock, then Machu Picchu is the city in
the clouds. Built in the 15th century, this ancient Incan city is
nestled between two peaks - Machu Picchu (Old Peak) and Huayna Picchu
(New Peak) at an amazing elevation of 7,710 feet.
It is often (mistakenly) called the lost city of the Incas, because
it was hidden amidst the lush forest and clouds for more than three
centuries. Yale professor Hiram Bingham rediscovered the city in 1911.
Since then, excavation research suggests that the city was home to about
1,200 residents at its peak. Today, it is a key tourist attraction.
Located in southwest Jordan are the ruins of the ancient city of
Petra. Massive temples, tombs and monuments have been cut into the
surrounding sandstone cliffs. Petra, which is Greek for "rock," is also
known as "the city in the rock." Perhaps the most impressive Petra
structure is the Sik al-Khazneh, also known as the Treasury.
It is an elaborately carved and embellished tomb. Besides the
decorative tomb facades and monuments, Petra is also known for its
highly organized water system, which included ceramic pipes, intricate
water channels and cisterns.