Can the Dead Sea hold on? We’re not talking ecologically — though that is of prime concern to scientists and conservationists studying how and why the sea has been shrinking in size. The Shmooze, on the other hand, is worried about whether the Dead Sea can make it to at least 7th place among the 28 finalists for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
The website for the contest, run by the New 7 Wonders of the World Foundation, has a countdown clock to November 11 (11/11/11), when global voting will be closed and the winners announced. Until then, you can register your vote for up to seven of the choices over the Internet, by phone or by texting.
The Dead Sea is up against some stiff competition from other magnificent spots like the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), the Grand Canyon (U.S.), the Black Forest (Germany), the Mud Volcanoes (Azerbaijan), and Table Mountain (South Africa).
This is serious business. The Dead Sea even has its own campaign website.
The New 7 Wonders of the World initiative follows the New 7 (Manmade) Wonders of the World, which were determined by over 100 million voters in 2007. They are Chichen Itza (Mexico), Christ Redeemer (Brazil), the Colosseum (Italy), the Taj Mahal (India), the Great Wall of China, Petra (Jordan) and Machu Picchu (Peru).
Those wonders were announced in an over-the-top production in Lisbon rivaling the opening ceremony of any of the most recent Olympic Games. It took place on July 7, 2007 (07/07/07 — get it?).
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that the Dead Sea will win this global popularity contest so that it, too, can be honored at a gaudy star-studded gala. We can only hope that such celebrity status would draw attention to the Dead Sea’s less glamorous, but more serious, side — like the ecological crisis it is facing.