April 22nd is Earth Day, an international celebration of Planet Earth. While important legislative and social changes came about as a result of the Earth Day movement, it is also a time to celebrate the simple, physical beauty of this planet.
Some of of the most breathtaking places on Earth have been designated as sacred spots, often referred to as the 7 Wonders of the Natural World. According to CNN, the 7 Natural Wonders are the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Harbor of Rio De Janeiro, Mount Everest, Aurora, Parícutin Volcano, and Victoria Falls. Each of these places are recognized for their natural beauty and majesty.
Unfortunately, a number of the world's most beautiful places are slowly being ruined by human interruption. In 2009, the Australian Government released a report outlining the threats facing the Great Barrier Reef. After becoming bleached by pollution, tourism, and other effects of climate change, the reef is in dire need of protection in order to survive. The Aral Sea, once the fourth largest lake in the world, is only a fraction of it's 1960 size after a government irrigation plan destroyed it, according to the NASA website. And due to illegal logging, CNN cited the Tahuamanu Rainforest, Madagascar forests, and the Congo River Basin as natural habitats in grave danger of disappearing forever.
But there are ways to protect these resources. With 80% of water pollution coming from land activity, cutting down on waste would save both our forests and our oceans.
Do you have your own natural wonder? Whether it is a landscape, special location or just a perfect tree, we want to see it! Submit your own nature photo, and enjoy the images below.
UPDATE: Submissions are now closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted their favorite nature photos!