natural world heritage site

America’s national parks include some of the most cherished natural landscapes and cultural sites in the world. Today is World Heritage Day and we’re recognizing a unique park with a global profile. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is one of the few places on Earth where visitors can safely get an upclose look at an active volcano. Witness powerful natural forces at work as Kīlauea and Mauna Loa (two of the world’s most active volcanoes) continue to add land to the island of Hawaiʻi. Photo by Janice Wei, National Park Service.

Petra, meaning ‘stone’ is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an, that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system.

Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan, as well as its most-visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

Sumerian heartland inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

July 18, 2016

During its 40th session held in Istanbul on July 17th, 2016, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee inscribed the Mesopotamian Marshes on the World Heritage List as both a cultural and natural site. According to a UNESCO press release, the Mesopotamian Marshes, or the Ahwar, are “made up of seven sites: three archaeological sites and four wetland marsh areas in southern Iraq.” The three archaeological sites are: Eridu (the world’s first city according to the Sumerians), Ur (home of the royal Sumerian tombs), and Uruk (home of the epic of Gilgamesh). The press release states that the three sites were “Sumerian cities and settlements that developed in southern Mesopotamia between the 4th and the 3rd millennium BCE in the marshy delta of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.”

The UNESCO also highlighted the uniqueness of the Ahwar “as one of the world’s largest inland delta systems, in an extremely hot and arid environment.” The Sumerian heartland is widely considered the birthplace of human civilization, where complex urban communities were originally developed. Although this decision reflects major progress in preserving and protecting Mesopotamian antiquities, the Cultural and Achaeological City of Babylon, however, is still on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List and has not been added to the World Heritage List.

Shushtar - Ancient Water Fortress of Iran

One of the oldest cities in the world at 6000 BCE

As described by UNESCO:

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System
Shushtar, Historical Hydraulic System, inscribed as a masterpiece of creative genius, can be traced back to Darius the Great in the 5th century B.C. It involved the creation of two main diversion canals on the river Kârun one of which, Gargar canal, is still in use providing water to the city of Shushtar via a series of tunnels that supply water to mills. It forms a spectacular cliff from which water cascades into a downstream basin. It then enters the plain situated south of the city where it has enabled the planting of orchards and farming over an area of 40,000 ha. known as Mianâb (Paradise). The property has an ensemble of remarkable sites including the Salâsel Castel, the operation centre of the entire hydraulic system, the tower where the water level is measured, damns, bridges, basins and mills. It bears witness to the know-how of the Elamites and Mesopotamians as well as more recent Nabatean expertise and Roman building influence.

Die Burg Katz in St. Goarshausen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Southwestern Germany. St. Goarshausen is located in the Rhein-Lahn-Kreis on the eastern shore of the Rhein within the Nassau Nature Park and the Rhine Gorge UNESCO world heritage site. It was historically part of the Duchy of Nassau. It’s ~30 km south of Koblenz, above all, famous for the Lorelei rock. The local economy is based on wine making and tourism; the railway station connects it with Wiesbaden, Frankfurt/Main, and Koblenz. There are 2 castles, Burg Katz (Castle Cat) and Burg Maus (Castle Mouse). :) Burg Katz is not open for visitors, but there’s a good view over the town from Burg Maus, also visible are the ruins of Burg Rheinfels on the other side of the Rhein. On the 3rd weekend in September, there’s the Rhein in Flammen event, spectacular large firework displays from Burg Katz, Burg Rheinfels, and from the middle of the Rhein.

Friday categorization #22

2022 Overlords
-2022.1 Evil ones
–2022.11 Those ruling a kingdom, empire, planet or intergalactic civilization
—2022.111 Those who do little but stalk, glower, dispense arbitrary violence and die
—-2022.1111 Those who additionally do a bit of decadence
—-2022.1112 Those who additionally do soliloquizing and/or plot exposition
—2022.112 Those possessed of mysterious powers
—2022.113 Those who mainly ended up at the helm of a massive, bloodthirsty empire by dumb luck, and are not really sure what to do about it
–2022.12 Those ruling a small archipelago, city or cave system
–2022.13 Those having only a base and an unspecified number of henchbeings
—2022.131 Having a base on an island
—-2022.1311 Island is also a volcano
—-2022.1312 Island is shaped like a skull
—–2022.13121 Island is a world heritage site due to its amazing natural skull-shaped rock formations, gets a lot of adventure tourists
—2022.132 Having a base underwater
—-2022.1321 Widely known in shark conservation circles for extensive private collection, donations to shark welfare and advocacy organisations
—2022.133 Having a base in space
—-2022.1331 Those who make use of an universal docking system and are unusually careless with passwords, allowing any old space traveller to get on board
—-2022.1332 Those who do not
–2022.14 Those possessed merely of an evil overlord sort of mentality
-2022.2 Misunderstood ones
–2022.21 Those who have immeasurably improved the lives of millions of orcs, lifting orc-kind out of lives of brutality and extreme poverty and giving them a sense of self-belief and purpose again, not like you care
–2022.22 Those who have subtle and nuanced reasons for wanting to take over the world
–2022.23 Those who were never really evil overlords at all, but whose story was written by their enemies
-2022.3 Good ones
–2022.31 Those that are materially no different from the evil ones, other than that they have been able to write the history books
–2022.32 Those who overlord only to keep the declining secret base construction industry in business, safeguarding thousands of jobs
-2022.4 Those whose status is uncertain
–2022.41 Those of a capricious or insane nature
–2022.42 Those who may in fact exist only as children’s stories
–2022.43 Those who were possibly eaten five years ago by their own piranhas, but had arranged the direct debits of their empire such that nobody has actually noticed


Dorset is a county in South West England where over 700,000 people live, an lies off the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester, after which a famous London hotel-restaurant is named. Around half of the population lives in the South East Dorset conurbation, while the rest of the county is largely rural with a low population density.

The county has a long history of human settlement stretching back to the ancient times. A Celtic tribe originally lived there, then during the early Middle Ages, the Saxons settled the area and made Dorset a shire in the 7th century.

The first recorded Viking raid on the British Isles occurred in Dorset during the 8th century and the black death entered England at Melcombe Regis in 1348. Dorset has seen much civil unrest during the 2nd English Civil War, while much later a group of farm labourers from Tolpuddle were instrumental in the formation of the worlds first trade union movement.

During the Second World War, Dorset was heavily involved in the preparations for the invasion of Normandy and the large harbours of Portland and Poole were two of the main embarkation points. The former was the sailing venue in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and both have clubs for sailing, rowing, and power-boating.

Dorset has a varied landscape featuring broad elevated chalk downs, steep limestone ridges and low-lying clay valleys. Over half the county is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and three-quarters of its coastline is a World Heritage Site that features notable landforms such as Lulworth Cove, the Isle of Portland, Chesil Beach and Durdle Door.

There are no polluting and noisey motorways in Dorset, just a network of key roads cross the county. It has two railway lines that connect to London, an also seaports plus an international airport. The county has a variety of museums, theatres and festivals, and is host to one of Europe’s largest outdoor shows. It is the birthplace of Thomas Hardy, who used the county as the principal setting of his famous novels.