Frequently Asked Reference Questions

Seven Wonders of the World

Example Questions that can be answered by this FAQ:

  • What are the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?
  • What about the Natural Wonders? Modern Wonders?, etc.

Little did the ancient Greeks who compiled a list of the Seven Wonders of the World know that their list would have such an enduring popularity that the list is frequently requested at every library reference desk, including the IPL’s. Their list is now generally referred to as the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World" in order to distinguish it from the numerous Seven Wonders lists that have been created since then.

Here is the list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World:

  • The Pyramids of Egypt
  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  • Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  • Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  • Colossus at Rhodes
  • Pharos of Alexandria

This list comes from a Seven Wonders of the World page that is part of the online version of the Information Please Almanac. The page also provides brief descriptions of these wonders.

The other Seven Wonders lists may vary depending upon which source you look them up in, probably because different groups have created the lists at various times in history.

Here is a list of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World:

  • The Grand Canyon
  • Mount Everest
  • The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
  • The Northern Lights (aka aurora borealis)
  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • Victoria Falls
  • Paricutin Volcano

This list comes from CNN’s Seven Natural Wonders of the World page, and also appears in The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1997. Other sources, including The World Book Encyclopedia, substitute the Caves in France and Spain with their prehistoric paintings for the Northern Lights.

Here is a list of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World:

  • Empire State Building
  • Itaipu Dam
  • CN Tower
  • Panama Canal
  • Channel Tunnel
  • North Sea Protection Works
  • Golden Gate Bridge

This list was drawn up by the American Society of Civil Engineers and comes from this Seven Wonders of the Modern World page. You can find other Seven Modern Wonders lists on these Frequently Asked Reference Questions web pages – Chicago Public Library and Houston Public Library.

Looking for other Seven Wonders lists? Wonder Club’s Complete Listing of World Wonders page includes the Seven Medieval Wonders and the Seven Underwater Wonders!