When people talk about the Wonders of the World, the number seven typically springs to mind. However you may often also hear people referring to something as “the 8th wonder of the world.”
But does this even really exist?
After digging into this topic (out of boredom and curiousty), I decided to write up this quick 2 minute explanation of what’s going on, why there seems to be confusion, and what the “8th wonder of the world” actually is.
There are actually several different Wonders of the World lists, spanning from ancient to modern times, that have captivated our imaginations with their grandeur and mystery.
Each of these official lists contains 7 items, but there is a legitimate and logical reason why there’s an often claimed 8th wonder.
However, to understand where the 8th Wonder comes in and what it is, we have to lay a bit of groundwork and understand the original lists of 7 Wonders.
Unpacking the Classic Seven
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is where it all began.
This list, rooted in ancient culture, includes architectural masterpieces such as the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
These wonders were celebrated for their incredible construction and the sheer audacity of their creators in the face of limited technology in the old days.
The Modern Take
Fast forward to more recent times, a new list was created – The New Seven Wonders of the World.
This list was determined through a global poll and included marvels like the Great Wall of China and Machu Picchu.
These wonders reflect not just architectural brilliance but also the evolution of human civilization across various cultures.
Then there’s the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, a list that highlights the extraordinary creations of Mother Nature herself.
This list includes the Amazon Rainforest, the Grand Canyon, and Mount Everest, among others, showcasing the diversity and magnificence of the natural world.
The Concept of the 8th Wonder
So, where does the idea of an 8th Wonder come in?
It seems to stem from a desire to give special recognition to certain landmarks or achievements that don’t fit neatly into the existing lists.
The most commonly cited 8th Wonder is the Great Pyramid of Giza.
It’s often given this honorary title because it’s the only ancient wonder still in existence, so they basically take that remaining Wonder from the original list, and tack it onto the new list.
But that’s not the only attraction that claims the 8th Wonder spot.
Here’s what, where, and who else is competing for that title:
Beyond Giza – Compound Interest, Andre the Giant, and More
The concept of an 8th Wonder isn’t limited to the Pyramids of Giza.
Over the years, various structures and natural phenomena have been dubbed the 8th Wonder, from the magnificent Angkor Wat in Cambodia to the engineering marvel of the Panama Canal.
Even Albert Einstein once jokingly referred to compound interest as the world’s 8th Wonder, highlighting how this concept has transcended beyond physical structures.
Andre the Giant, the famous French professional wrestler turned actor was also sometimes called The Eighth Wonder of the World.
And fictional character King Kong was referred as the 8th wonder in media.
If you’re interested to see a comprehensive list of other candidates for this title, this Wikipedia article has a nice running list.
TL;DR: It’s a Subjective Title
Ultimately, the title of the “8th Wonder of the World” is more subjective and less formalized than the other wonders.
It’s a term that has been used to recognize remarkable things around the world that inspire awe and admiration, similar to their official counterparts.
Wrapping up the Wonders Debate
In conclusion, while the “8th Wonder of the World” might not be an officially recognized term, it represents our continuous fascination with the extraordinary.
Whether it’s a man-made structure, a natural phenomenon, a person, character, or an abstract concept, the idea of an 8th Wonder encourages us to keep exploring and appreciating the remarkable world we live in.