July 21st, 2009
For the last few months, everyone has been frantically voting for Table Mountain to become one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature. And all that voting paid off.
This year, 261 magnificent natural sites from 222 countries made it through to the second round in the global race to name the New 7 Wonders of Nature. After an intense round of voting by the public, this was narrowed down to just 77. It was then up to a panel of experts, ranging from a former Director-General of UNESCO to a wildlife cameraman, to bring that number down to just 28.
After a lot of holding thumbs, crossing fingers and wishing on stars, the next round of results have finally come in! And...
Table Mountain is one of the 28 finalists!
In the Mountains and Volcanoes category, Table Mountain was up against some stiff competition. Each finalist was incredibly special so we thought we would take some time out from our little victory dance to find out a bit more about each one.
The Matterhorn - this mountain in the Pennine Alps is often called the iconic emblem of this legendary mountain range. At nearly 4,500 metres, it is one of the Alps' highest peaks and lies on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Known in German as the Matterhorn, in Italian as Cervino and as Cervin in French, this peak is one of the great north faces of the Alps. As deadly as it is beautiful, The Matterhorn as claimed over 500 lives since it was first tackled in 1865.
Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa's highest mountain is located in Tanzania with the highest peak reaching 5,891 metres. Mount Kilimanjaro includes three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, but don't panic - none have ever erupted in recorded history. As one of the largest stratovolcanoes in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro is made up of numerous layers of lava, tephra and volcanic ash. The only volcanic activity recorded includes the emission of gases from fumaroles on the main summit of Kibo.
Mount Olympus - Known as Óros Ólimbos on Greek maps, this is the highest mountain in Greece at 2,919 metres. With a base located at sea level, Mount Olympus is also one of the highest mountains in Europe. Located in Macedonia, any climbing expedition would start in the town of Litochoro and traverse a rich floral kingdom along the way. The mountain is also prominent in Greek mythology as the "home of the gods" - the Twelve Olympians or principal gods of the ancient Hellenistic world. Mount Olympus also shares its name with a more out-of-this-world mountain - Olympus Mons (Latin for Mount Olympus) on planet Mars.
Mud Volcanoes in Azerbaijan - Azerbaijan is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia (in case you also didn't know) and is home to nearly 300 of the world's 700 mud volcanoes. Mud volcanoes are formations that were created by geo-excreted liquids and gases. The biggest mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan are Galmas, Toragay and Big Kanizadag. Most of them have a cone shape with heights that vary from 20 to 400m and bases that can be between 100 and 4500 metres in diameter.
Table Mountain - we know our own famous mountain needs little introduction, but a few facts never hurt anyone. Located in Cape Town in South Africa, Table Mountain's highest point is marked by Maclear's Beacon at 1,086 metres above sea level - about 19 metres higher than the cable station! The mountain's original name was Hoeri 'kwaggo (sea mountain) according to the San people, but today it is an icon for all South Africans.
Vesuvius in Italy - Known as Monte Vesuvio in Italian, Mount Vesuvius' reputation precedes it. This stratovolcano located east of Naples in Italy is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. The most destructive eruption in AD 79 obliterated the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killed between 10,000 and 25,000 people. With a population of three million living nearby and many subsequent eruptions, Mount Vesuvius is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
Yushan - also known as Jade Mountain or Yu Mountain, Yushan is a national park and central mountain range in Chinese Taipei with the highest point of the range towering 3,952 metres above sea level. The park is also known for its diverse wildlife and ecology and the environment around Yushan itself spans from sub-tropical forests at its base to alpine conditions at its peak.
Unfortunately not all of these incredible mountains made it through to the next round. Take a look at the new list of finalists.
Now it is up to you again. Voting has once again opened to the public and you have the power. To vote for Table Mountain visit www.new7wonders.com or call 0041 77 312 4041 and select Table Mountain's four-digit code 7725.
[Calls to the New 7 Wonders Swiss mobile voting number will cost R3.29 a minute in peak times (7am - 7pm) and R2.92 a minute off-peak (7pm - 7am)]
The final seven will be announced in 2011.