I will begin with that I have realized I was a little too ambitious with this week. Learning country names/locations, and major geographical features in a week is feasible. However, trying to learn about each country along the way, and then typing it all up is too much to try and accomplish in one week while still working full time (and coming down with a sinus infection, and dealing with a broken down car). So, I apologize that this is all in one massive list, that there aren’t pictures (it’s hard to find nice open-source images), and that I will miss the majority of interesting and noteworthy geographical features around the world. But I will make sure to mention a few new things that I learn about each region as I go.
Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave – Austria: One of the largest, if not the largest ice cave in the world, covering more that 42 kilometers of passageways.
Rock of Gibraltar – Gibraltar (British Territory, Iberian Peninsula): Home to Barbary Macaques, the only wild primates found in Europe. Before this I didn’t know there were any wild primates in Europe.
The Great Dune of Pyla – France: The largest dune in Europe. Looks like a great site for sand boarding.
Pulpit Rock – Norway: A natural plateau open to the public with a 604 meter drop, with views of
Stromboli Volcano – Italy: The volcano located on the small island of Stromboli is constantly spewing lava. And people still choose to live on the island. Crazy, right?
Verdon Gorge – France: Gorgeous turquoise water surrounded by steep rock faces. Looks absolutely stunning!
Socotra Island – Republic of Yemen: The most bio-diverse place in the Arabian Sea. A third of the plant life found on the island is not found anywhere else in the world.
Ngororo Crater – Tanzania: ‘Africa’s Eden’ was created when a huge volcano exploded 2-3 million years ago. It is thought to be one of the best places to see African wildlife.
Vredeta Dome – South Africa: The world’s largest meteorite impact site.
Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe: A stunning waterfall with a massive width of 1708 meters.
West Asia/Middle East
Rock Face City – Jordan: An ancient city carved into a sheer cliff.
The Door to Hell – Turkmenistan: A natural gas field that has been burning continuously since 1971. After a drilling rig collapsed and high levels of methane gas were being released into the atmosphere, scientists decided to burn off the gas thinking it would take only a few days, but it’s still burning today.
Lake Baikal – Russia: The world’s largest, deepest, and oldest lake.
Valley of Castles – Kazakhstan: A section of the Charyn Canyon named for its unusual rock formations.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River – Philippines: The world’s longest underground river, running 8.2km through a limestone cave
Tubbataha Reef – Philippines: A massive and incredibly diverse reef network.
Taroko Gorge – Taiwan: Plate collision between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate has uplifted massive quantities of rock and marble, to contrast the bright blue water running through the gorge.
Kuk Swamp – Papau New Guinea: A well preserved site of ancient agriculture. Archaeological excavation has revealed evidence of continuous cultivation for 7,000-10,000 years.
Ayers Rock – Australia: A large sandstone rock formation, home to many ancient paintings, caves, and springs.
Boiling Mud Pools – New Zealand: Located in one of the world’s most active geothermal regions. Many believe the mud to have healing powers.
Jellyfish Lake – Palau: A large marine lake home to millions of local non-stinging jellyfish.
Lake Titicaca – Peru and Bolivia: The lake is home to inhabited floating islands made of a local reed plant.
Angel Falls – Venezuala: The world’s highest waterfall.
Itaipu Dam – Paraguay and Brazil: The world’s second most powerful dam. Supplies 90% of the power consumed by Paraguay, and 19% of the power consumed by Brazil.
Monteverde Cloud Forest – Costa Rica: A large, dense, and diverse cloud forest. It is believed to have the highest diversity of orchids in the world, and is one of the only places left in the world that can support all six species of the cat family.
Mesoamerican Reef – Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico: The world’s second largest barrier reef.
Bay of Fundy – Canada: A bay with unusual rock formations that is known for having one of the highest vertical tidal ranges in the world.
Yellowstone National Park – America: Home to over half of the world’s geothermal features.
Lake Michigan – United States of America: The largest lake to be entirely in one country.
Mammoth Cave Network – United States of America: The world’s longest cave network which extends over 560 Kilometers under the mountains of southern Kentucky.
Don Juan Pond – Antactica: The saltiest body of water on the earth. Even when temperatures drop below -30degrees Celcius, the lake never freezes.