What Are The 7 Wonders Of The Underwater World?

Back in 1989, a panel of marine scientists associated with CEDAM came together to answer 1 question: What Are The 7 Wonders Of The Underwater World?

CEDAM International is a non-profit organization for professional divers who are dedicated to ocean preservation and research.

One of the members of the panel was Doctor Eugenie Clark (1922-2015), an American ichthyologist who became famous for her research on shark behavior and who was one of the pioneers of using scuba diving for scientific research.

The results of the panel’s decision were officially announced at The National Aquarium in Washington D.C. by actor Lloyd Bridges (1913-1998), the main star of the American television program “Sea Hunt.”

So what are the 7 Wonders of the Underwater World? Below are the 7 winners that were picked by the CEDAM experts back in 1989!

1. Palau Coral Reefs

The Republic of Palau is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of 9 inhabited islands and about 700 small islets with a land area of just 466 square kilometers (180 sq mi).

Aerial view Palau
Aerial View / Luka Peternel / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

The coral reefs of Palau are for the most part free from coastal erosion as a result of agriculture. About half of the coral reefs of Palau are barrier reefs, 37% consist of fringing reefs and the remaining are atolls.

German Channel reef palau
The German Channel reef of Palau. / Source

because the reefs are so healthy and are considered to be some of the most biodiverse coral reefs on the planet, they are inhabited by an abundance of colorful fish and other sea creatures, making it the perfect place to snorkel!

7 wonders of the underwater world palau

2. Northern Red Sea

The Northern Red Sea is part of the seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean that lies between Africa and Arabia. The Red Sea has a total surface of about 438,000 square kilometers (169,100 square miles).

Red Sea
The Red Sea lies between Africa and Arabia. / Source

The Northern part of the Red Sea, which borders Saudi Arabia and Yemen on the eastern shore, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti on the western shore, is considered to be one of the most beautiful underwater paradises in the world.

Red sea underwater paradise

The Northern part of the Red Sea is often referred to as “The Underwater Garden of Eden,” and this beautiful submarine paradise is considered to be one of the best places in the world for scuba diving.

Northern Red Sea 7 wonders of the underwater world

3. Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest and best-known coral reef system. It’s huge as it consists of 2,900 different coral reefs and is located off the coast of Queensland in the northeast of Australia.

7 wonders of the world great barrier reef
Aerial view of some of the reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. / Source

The Great Barrier Reef also consists of 900 islands stretching over 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) and is located in an area of 344,400 square kilometers (133,000 square miles).

Great barrier reef underwater
Great Barrier reef underwater / Wise Hok Wai Lum / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most popular tourist destinations to discover an extremely biodiverse underwater world. Scuba divers can visit the reef by hopping onto a boat referred to as “liveaboards” to reach the reef from mainland Australia.

Great Barrier Reef underwater
Great Barrier Reef, an underwater paradise on earth. / Source

4. Belize Barrier Reef

The Belize Barrier Reef is another large barrier reef located off the coast of the Central American country. It’s a large section of 300 kilometers (190 miles) long of a much larger barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef which is 900 kilometers (560 miles long.

part of the Belize barrier reef
Part of the Belize Barrier Reef / Source

It’s the second-biggest barrier reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef, and it was once described by Charles Darwin as “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies” in 1842.

Belize Barrier reef corals

The Belize Barrier reef is also home to 3 amazing Caribbean atolls called the “Turneffe Atoll,” “Glover’s Reef” and “Lighthouse Reef.” The Lighthouse Reef has one very remarkable feature called the “Blue Hole.”

Blue Hole Belize barrier reef

5. Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal is a rift lake located in the south of Siberia in Russia and is the largest freshwater lake in the world.

Lake Baikkal in winter
Lake Baikal in the winter. / Source

It’s not only the largest freshwater lake by volume, but it also contains between 22 and 23% of all the fresh water in the world! It’s also the world’s deepest lake with a maximum depth of 1,642 meters (5,387 feet).

Lake Baikal 7 wonders of the underwater world
Vie over Lake Baikal / Wozny / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

Lake Baikal is really something special because it’s considered to be the world’s oldest and clearest lake as well. It’s home to thousands of plant and animal species that can only be found in this area of the world.

6. Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands are a volcanic island archipelago that is part of Ecuador, a country in South America. The islands are located 906 kilometers (563 miles) west of mainland Ecuador.

galapagos islands

The islands are famous for their huge variety of endemic animal species which were once studied by Charles Darwin as part of his study on the evolution of species. Some of the most notable of these species are the Galápagos Tortoise (the giant turtles), the Galápagos penguin, the Marine Iguana, and the Galápagos sea lion.

Galápagos sea lion. / Diego Delso / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

Apart from being listed as one of the 7 wonders of the underwater world, the Galápagos Islands were also a candidate to be one of the New 7 Wonders of the Natural World but didn’t win in this contest which ran from 2007 to 2011.

Marine Iguana galapagos islands
Marine iguana / Sodacan / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

7. Deep-Sea Vents

Deep-sea vents are fissures at the bottom of the ocean from which geothermally heated water issues. This phenomenon happens in locations where tectonic plates are moving apart.

Hydrothermal vents, as deep-sea vents are also referred to, can form either black smokers or white smokers. Black smokers hadn’t been discovered until the year 1979 on the East Pacific Rise at 21° north latitude.

One of the most remarkable facts about deep-sea vents is that the areas surrounding them are biologically a lot more productive, often housing complex communities of creatures that directly benefit from the chemicals released by these vents. These can include organisms such as giant tube worms, clams, limpets, and shrimp.

Life around a deep-sea vent. / Source