Wonders of the World You Didn’t Know Existed

WION Edge: Beauty and wonder come in many forms in our world, from the natural or man-made to the intact or ruined, this list features them all.

Wonders of the world

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

This extraordinary complex was built around 1,500 years ago and has as its main feature a nearly 700ft tall rock column with the ruins of a palace atop it. The entrance to this feature, also called the rock fortress, is composed of the ruins of a massive stone lion.
(Photo: mistermunay, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland

Falling over 200ft to the pool below, this waterfall provides a rather unique interior view due the path that leads behind the fall.
(Photo: Min Zhou, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Meteora, Greece

Meteora is a complex of monasteries built upon various sandstone pillars, with the buildings dating between the 11th and 16th centuries.
(Photo: Javier Vieras, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Cathedral Gorge, Australia

Located within the quirkily named Bungle Bungles sandstone formations, this gorge has created a unique natural amphitheater in which voices carry from one side to the other with ease.
(Photo: Graeme Churchard, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Pamukkale, Turkey

What looks like ice and snow is actually a layer of calcium carbonate left behind by water from the area’s hot springs. The cliffs and terraces are continually forming and reforming as water continues to pour over them.
(Photo: Dušan Šteharnik, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Sighisoara, Romania

This charming little town doubles as a mountain citadel. Brightly painted and beautifully constructed buildings compose this architectural ensemble, but it’s also known as the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula.
(Photo: Eugen Marculescu, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Ayutthaya, Thailand

This great city was built in the mid-14th century and was the center of the royal court as well as the name of the kingdom that it headed until the 18th century.
(Photo: Jamie, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Prambanan, Indonesia

Built in the mid-9th century, this Hindu temple complex was abandoned about a century later and fell into the realm of myth until the early 19th century.
(Photo: Ainol Razman, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Ordesa Canyon, Spain

Part of the Ordesa Y Monte Perdido National Park, Ordesa Canyon is located deep within the Pyrenees and is home to such majestic creatures as the Golden Eagle.
(Photo: Guillaume Baviere, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Dobsina Ice Cave, Slovakia

This stunning ice cave has a central chamber that is 40ft high and a floor composed of an over 80 foot thick slab of ice. The stalagmites and stalactites are more like spires of crystal than rock formations due to their layers of ice.
(Photo: WikiMedia Commons) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Potala Palace, Tibet

Built in 1645, this palace was long the home of the Dalai Lamas of Tibet until the Tibetan Uprising.
(Photo: Michael Goodine, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Mogao Caves, China

Consisting of hundreds of temples, the caves and their respective complexes also display countless colorful frescoes and meticulously carved statues.
(Photo: Dan Lundberg, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Schwerin Palace, Germany

Built by the Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, this palace is reminiscent of French chateaux and puts any Disney castle to shame.
(Photo: GlynLowe, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Baalbek, Lebanon

Known in its original days as Heliopolis, both under the rule of Alexander the Great and later the Romans, these ruins date back over 2,000 years, with overall settlement here going back as far as 9,000 years.
(Photo: Arian Zwegers, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Standing Stone, Callanish

Every bit as mysterious and magical as more well-known Stonehenge in England, these Scottish Neolithic stones are composed of a circle of stones as well as lines of stones that radiate from it.
(Photo: Andrew Bennett, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Transfiguration Church, Kizhi, Russia

This extraordinary display of mass onion domes and arches, all done in wood, is an early 18th century marvel not to be matched anywhere else.
(Photo:John Menard, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

The Archeological Site of Meroe, Sudan

Once the capital of the Kingdom of Kush, Meroe is home to a series of fabulous tombs and mausoleums and has produced stunning artifacts from antiquity.
(Photo: Valerian Guillot, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Ruins of Leptis Magna, Libya

These sprawling ruins, with their colonnades, triumphal arches, and amphitheater, display some of the most delicate and intricately carved motifs left to us from the Romans.
(Photo: Ben Sutherland, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Venezuela’s highest tabletop mountain, with its pyramid-like steps and cascading waterfalls, is so high that it’s perpetually ringed by masses of swirling clouds.
(Photo: Paulo Fassina, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Vinales Valley, Cuba

This amazing valley and its surrounding limestone monuments seem like a picture out of Southeast Asia rather than the island of Cuba.
(Photo: Simon Matzinger, Flickr) (Others)

Wonders of the world

Semuc Champey, Guatemala

This natural limestone cascade drops gently down the mountainside to create a series of falls and clear turquoise pools.
(Photo: Christopher Crouzet, Flickr) (Others)