Low-Lying, Salt-Heavy Wonder of the World

By Devra Ferst

Published July 15, 2009, issue of July 24, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

In the fifth-century BCE, scholars Herodotus and Callimachus created a list of the Seven Wonders of the World. Since then, lists of the seven wonders of the medieval, industrial and even underwater world have popped up, luring tourists around the globe.

Hoping to draw attention to the natural world, the New7Wonders Foundation, based in Zurich, is sponsoring the New7Wonders of Nature competition. “If we want to save anything, we first need to truly appreciate it,” the foundation states on its Web site.

Among those tapped for appreciation of beauty, historical legacy and ecological significance is the Dead Sea.

The sea, along with the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon, made the Top 77 list, which the foundation announced in early July. By July 21, the nominees will be narrowed to 28 finalists by a panel of experts. The final seven wonders of the natural world will be decided by an online popular vote on the foundation’s Web site, www.new7wonders.com, and the results will be announced in 2011.

The Dead Sea submission was initially sponsored by a group of West Bank settlers but was signed off on by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Jordanian government, both of which share the sea and now form the Official Supporting Committee for the nomination.

Of the original seven wonders, only the Great Pyramid of Giza remains, while the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and others have long since been destroyed. Hopefully, with eco-attention and preservation efforts, the Dead Sea, which receded 82 feet in the 20th century, will have better luck.

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.