Bay of Fundy
Credit: Michael Sprague

And the only Canadian finalist in the New 7 Wonders of Nature, an online competition decided by public votes

The Bay of Fundy made the short list for the New 7 wonders of Nature, an online competition decided by public votes. The only Canadian entry of the 28 finalists got the nod for the massive tides that make it an attraction for all kinds of marine life, including humans.

"The Bay of Fundy is renowned for having the highest tides on the planet (16.2 metres or 53 feet)," says the competition website, "One hundred billion tonnes of sea water flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy twice daily — more water than the combined flow of all the world's fresh water rivers. Fundy's extreme tides create a dynamic and diverse marine ecosystem. The Bay is renowned for its coastal rock formations, extreme tidal effects (vertical, horizontal, rapids and bores) and sustainable coastal development. It is also a critical international feeding ground for migratory birds, a vibrant habitat for rare and endangered Right whales, and one of the world's most significant plant and animal fossil discovery regions. The Bay of Fundy is located between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on North America's east coast."

The contest pits 28 geographical and ecological wonders, picked by a panel of experts, against each other with online voting deciding the New Seven Wonders of Nature. The winning locations will be named on November 11, 2011.

Fundy's competition include many predictable features — Galapagos Islands, The Great Barrier Reef, Angel Falls, The Grand Canyon, Uluru — but also many little known spots. For instance, Poland's Masurian Lake District, 2,000 Ice Age lakes covering 52,000 square kilometres. Or Jeju Island, a remote volcanic archipelago 130 kilometres from the South Korean mainland. One of the most obscure: the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan. Located near the Caspian Sea the mud craters are created by gases, liquid and mud being forced above ground in volcano like hills.

Devised by Bernard Weber, a Swiss born Canadian, the contest is part of a move to recognize and highlight some of the world's great locations, he says. Weber started New7Wonders as a way of updating the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, a travellers life list from 200 B.C. devised by Philon of Byzantium. Only the Pyramids of Giza remain from Philon's list, so in 2007 Weber created an online contest to finalize a modern list, The New 7 Wonders of the World.

Announced on July 7, 2007 they are the Mayan ruin at Chicen Itza in Mexico, Christ Redemer statue in Brasil, the Italian Colosseum, Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan and Machu Picchu, Peru.

Like the seven man made wonders, Weber hopes the seven wonders of nature campaign creates a renewed interest in these locations. "Stimulating awareness reminds us of the danger of loss," it says on the sites charter. "Competition and the fear of losing something valuable are two vital calls to human action."

It's already happened for the natural locations. At Puerto Princesa Airport, the gateway to the Philippines PP subterranean river, air travel tripled since the wonder joined the 28 finalists, according to the Manila Bulletin. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is eight kilometres of navigable water inside a limestone mountain in the province of Palawan, Philippines.