Diving the Seven Wonders of the Underwater World
When we refer to the ‘Wonders of the World’ it can get a little confusing as there now seems to be an endless variety of lists and categories. The original ‘wonders’ were the ‘Seven Wonders of the Ancient World’, and refer to the most remarkable creations from classical antiquity. Since then, many similar lists have been made in reference to different time periods, structures or natural settings. Diving and underwater enthusiasts jumped on board, and in 1989 CEDAM – an American-based non-profit group for divers – consulted marine scientists to compile a list of underwater areas they considered to be worthy of protection. Referred to as the Seven Wonders of the Underwater World, these Wonders now serve as a checklist for diving enthusiasts who flock to explore these unique underwater settings and their spectacular marine life. If you’re devoted to the underwater world, then put these distinguished diving destinations on your to-do list – you won’t be disappointed!
Belize Barrier Reef
The Belize Barrier Reef is the largest in the Western Hemisphere and lies 300 metres off the Belize Coast. The Reef is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life and attracts thousands of tourists each year and is particularly popular with divers.
The island nation of Palau is one of the smallest in the world, but is surrounded by largely untouched reefs which house some of the most beautiful coral in the world and a healthy, thriving ecosystem of marine species. Divers flock here to experience this untouched underwater treasure before the word gets out. From Australia, Tiger Airways flies to Manila. From Manila, connecting flights are available to Palau.
Northern Red Sea
The Red Sea is the most northern tropical sea in the world, and is the small inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. With deep trenches and shallow shelves, the uniqueness of this Northern tropical sea translates into its distinctive species and marine life. With hard and soft coral and a broad and diverse spectrum of marine wildlife, diving in the Red Sea is an amazing experience not to be missed.
As opposed to a certain location, deep-sea vents are an underwater phenomenon that can be found in various places around the world. A deep-sea vent is a place on the surface of the earth where random streams of heated water can be found. These vents are often referred to as black smokers, and the unique chemical make-up of these hot streams support unique species, including clams, shrimps and giant tube worms. Deep-sea vents are often found near areas of volcanic activity or ocean basins. Vents have been found in New Zealand and along the Galapagos Rift, and international flights can get divers to these unique underwater locales for their next underwater adventure.
In the Pacific Ocean west of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands will take visitors back to another
time. The prehistoric feel of the islands, with their giant land and marine iguanas, make it a diving and holiday destination with a difference. The islands and the surrounding waters are home to a diverse and unique array of marine species including the Galapagos green turtles and visiting divers will be treated to an underwater experience unlike any other.
When people think of spectacular marine environments, it’s not often that Siberia will come to mind. But Lake Baikal in southern Siberia is home to over 1,700 species of marine and plant life, many of which are indigenous to the area. The lake is the deepest in the world, and this incredible body of water is worth travelling the extra distance.
Great Barrier Reef
Australia holidays are not complete without a trip to the world’s largest system of coral reefs – the Great Barrier Reef. So big that it can be seen from outer space, the entire reef is comprised of almost 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands. The Reef is one of Australia’s premier tourist destinations, and thousands of visitors flock here each year to see this natural wonder and World Heritage listed site first hand.
The underwater world holds endless surprises and treasures and is just waiting to be explored! So plan your diving holiday today and put the Seven Wonders of the Underwater World on your itinerary.