The Seven Wonders of the World were the original bucket list—the places every Socratic disciple wanted to visit. As we prepare for a post-pandemic reality, those with a thirst for adventure should go by a new list. These marvels include archaeological and natural treasures spanning far wider than the ancient Greek world and catering to all types of modern explorers.
KELP FORESTS, SOUTH AFRICA
Recognized as the prominent backdrop of the Academy Award-winning documentary My Octopus Teacher, the kelp forests 10 miles south of Cape Town form a shallow under water jungle more than twice as wide as the Grand Canyon—and a home to millions of creatures. The mammoth vines thrive where Atlantic tides give way to cold Antarctic currents; a phenomenon called upwelling, where two ocean layers slosh together, is key to their growth. Multiday group trips are led by record-holding free diver Hanli Prinsloo, co-founder of the local outfitter I Am Water Ocean Travel. On tank-free descents, she’ll point out kaleidoscopic critters such as spiky-finned rockfish and pearl-colored Hottentots. Over sundowners at a private villa near penguin-filled Boulders Beach, Prinsloo will explain how, via photosynthesis, the seaweed captures gases from the atmosphere, making it a powerful agent against climate change.
TOP END ROCK ART, AUSTRALIA
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