Which Natural Wonder Should You Visit Before You Die?

By: Elisabeth Henderson

Which Natural Wonder Should You Visit Before You Die?
Image: wilpunt / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

The Earth’s beauty and natural wonder abound on every continent and in every ocean. In 1997, inspired by the lists of the Seven Wonders of the World and the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, CNN compiled a list of must-see earthly beauty. The list spans a wide range of natural wonders, from the towering peak of Mount Everest and the raging waters of Victoria Falls to the swirling mystery of the Aurora Borealis and the colorful tapestry of the Great Barrier Reef. With so much beauty to witness, how do you know which natural wonder to see before you die? 

There’s more to viewing natural wonders than just booking tickets and pulling out your binoculars. In addition to personal preference, other factors may determine where you’ll want to travel. Some natural wonders, like the Aurora Borealis, would bring you into dark and frigid climates. Others, like the Paricutin volcano in Mexico, require ease with foreign language and culture. Peering over the edge of the Grand Canyon may induce existential dizziness, not to mention a wariness of fellow tourists’ trustworthiness. 

Travel has the capacity to move us beyond ourselves by bringing us in contact with other cultures and taking us out of our comfort zone. Knowing yourself and how far out of your comfort zone you’re willing to go can be a good compass for setting out in the right direction to travel. Let us help you find true north with this quiz!  

Nature Which element of natural beauty do you find most compelling?
Rock and light
Geologic time
The movement of water
Sheer height

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Fire When you are on a travel expedition, what do you use fire for?
To stay cozy
To keep animals away
We don’t.
To keep warm

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15 - fear Which of the following possibilities would give you anxiety to the point that you would not go on a trip?
The possibility of death by avalanche
Being on the edge of a cliff
The chance of being out in the freezing cold
The possibility of encountering a grizzly

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Travel What tempo of travel excitement sounds enjoyable to you?
The entire experience is a cultural and physical adventure.
Relax all day and go on an adventure at night
See something amazing and then go get a drink
An experience of pure physical endurance

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13 Camping Under what conditions are you willing to sleep outside?
At a campground with a tent
In a hammock on the beach
Under no conditions
In the backcountry with a guide carrying gear

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8 traveling What do you need in order to feel secure while traveling?
My car and my GPS
My travel guidebook
My safari guide
My crampons

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Fjadrargljufur canyon in Iceland Which of the following landscapes do you think is most beautiful?
Layered, exposed rock
Rocks carved by ocean water
Underwater formations
Snow-capped mountain peaks

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Hotel Bed Decorative Pillows What kind of accommodations would you expect on an adventure outing?
A camping tent
A quaint hotel
A chic hotel
A cozy BnB

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Irish-Landscape What does an encounter with natural wonder bring you face to face with?
The great expanse of time
The history of geological formation
The mystery of being beyond the Earth
The certainty of death

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Asakusa shopping street. Crowded market What are you willing to risk in order to see and experience natural wonder?
Crowds of tourists
Pickpockets
Unstable political situations
Brain damage from altitude sickness

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Travel How far are you willing to travel by plane in order to see something majestic?
I prefer to drive.
Several hours
Ten hours
Twenty hours

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28 Horseback Riding What kind of transportation are you comfortable with enduring to get to a natural wonder?
Car
Horseback
Plane
On foot

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Are You Ready to Backpack Europe? How do you interact with people of another culture when you are visiting a natural tourist attraction?
It’s about nature, not culture.
I’m fascinated with how the people interact with the natural landscape.
I like to be in a place that has both nature and culture.
I want to study how nature may form the culture of a place.

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hey there foreigner What kind of climate appeals to your travel sensibility?
Dry and hot
Sunny and humid
Freezing cold and snowy
Hot and rainy

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yacht sailing on silent sea Which of the following sounds like a level of physical exertion that appeals to you?
Hiking up a steep gravel slope
Taking a cable car up to the top of a mountain
Sailing
Climbing with ropes and an ice pick

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Tourists are kayaking out of the brilliant blue ice cave, Valdez, Alaska How do you prefer to encounter water on a nature outing?
From far away
Frozen
Rushing over rocks
All around me

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Languages What language do you prefer to speak on an adventure to experience nature?
English
Spanish
English, with an accent
I like to hear completely unfamiliar languages.

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Camels What kind of company is ideal for travel?
Family
Solo
A group of close friends
A safari crew

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Mountain Fuji hikers How do you feel about needing help to reach your objective?
I’d rather just make it on my own.
I’m happy to have help if they can get me somewhere I couldn’t otherwise go.
Good help is the difference between fun and disaster.
Sometimes getting help is the only way.

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Waiting for Train How long are you willing to spend getting to your destination?
A full day
About an hour
A couple of hours
Weeks

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Bottled water What is the least purified drinking water you are willing to consume?
Bottled water
Tap water that the locals drink
Fresh spring water
Snow melt

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Manatee Which animal would you be excited to see en route to a natural site?
An elk
A grizzly
A manatee
A snow leopard

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Globe Which country would you be excited to visit?
Brazil
America
Zambia
Australia

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Fanny Pack What kind of protection do you typically carry when you travel?
A secret passport fanny pack
A gun
A guide with a rifle
None

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Street Food How does local food enter into your decision-making when you’re planning a trip?
It doesn’t — I usually just make my own.
It’s all part of the experience.
The food is just as important as the natural wonder.
The food is secondary.

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Guy swimming in natural hot spring pool in the river What kind of water are you willing to swim in?
None
Hot spring
A pool at the edge of a waterfall
Salty, clear water

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What Spirit Animal Guards Your Heart 2 Which animal sighting possibility would make you choose another destination?
Box jellyfish
Snow leopard
Grizzly bear
Skunk

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Indigenous Brazilian Young Man Portrait from Guarani ethnicity, Welcoming the tourist How do you typically interact with locals when you’re traveling?
I talk to waitstaff at restaurants.
I enjoy talking to them in the local language.
I like to meet people at restaurants and go party together.
I often employ them as guides.

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Broken Arm cast What kind of injuries have you sustained while in search of natural beauty?
I twisted my ankle once.
I was beaten up while getting mugged.
A jellyfish sting
Fractured my pelvis in a climbing accident

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Dandelion seed Why is it important to seek out natural beauty?
It reminds me how small I am.
It teaches us about the history of the Earth that predates human existence.
It shows me a world beyond the man-made.
It gives me a glimpse into the sublime.

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