Natural monuments

A natural monument is a natural or natural/cultural feature of outstanding or unique value because of its inherent rarity, representative of aesthetic qualities or cultural significance.

A natural monument is a natural or natural/cultural feature of outstanding or unique value because of its inherent rarity, representative of aesthetic qualities or cultural significance.

Under World Commission on Protected Areas guidelines, natural monuments are level III, described as:

"Areas are set aside to protect a specific natural monument, which can be a landform, sea mount, submarine cavern, geological feature such as a cave or even a living feature such as an ancient grove. They are generally quite small protected areas and often have high visitor value."

This is a lower level of protection than level II (national parks) and level I (wilderness areas).

The European Environment Agency's guidelines for selection of a natural monument are:

The area should contain one or more features of outstanding significance. Appropriate natural features include spectacular waterfalls, caves, craters, fossil beds, sand dunes and marine features, along with unique or representative fauna and flora, associated cultural features might include cave dwellings, cliff-top forts, archaeological sites, or natural sites which have heritage significance to indigenous peoples.

The area should be large enough to protect the integrity of the feature and its immediately related surroundings.

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    Baltschieder Glacier

    The Baltschiedergletscher consists of two independent parts of a dissociated glacier north of Visp at the end of the valley called Baltschiedertal. The impressing "Aussere Baltschiedergletscher" is embedded between the magnificent mountains Bietschhorn, Aelwer Rigg, Breitlauihorn and Jagihorn.

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    Devil's Town (Davolja Varos)

    Davolja Varos is a peculiar rock formation, located in south Serbia on the Radan Mountain near Kursmlija. It features 202 exotic formations described as earth pyramids or "towers", as the locals refer to them.

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    El-Hassana Dome

    Announced in 1989, El Hassana Dome Protectorate is located in the Giza governorate in Egypt and is a geological protected area covering a land area of one square km. reaching the place is very easy from Cairo which lays just 23 kms away from the protectorate.

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    Geomun Oreum

    Geomum Oreum, with an altitude of 456m, is located in Jocheon-eup, Jeju-si and refers to a parasitic volcano.

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    Geomunoreum Lava Tube System

    The Geomunoreum Lava Tube System is located between Seonheul-ri, Jocheon-eup and Weoljeong-ri, Gujwa-eup, Jeju City, Jeju-do. This lava tube system refers to a series of lava tube caves formed while basaltic lava flow which had erupted several times from the Geomunoreum volcano.

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    Giant's Causeway

    The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is also known as Clochan an Aifir or Clochan na bhFomhórach in Irish and tha Giant's Causey in Ulster-Scots.

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    Grand Canyon National Park

    Grand Canyon National Park is the United States' 15th oldest national park. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the park is located in Arizona. The park's central feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, which is often considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

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    Kounopetra (Mooving Rock)

    The Kounopetra of Kefalonia island, also known as the "stone that moves", is a natural phenomenon of its kind that is unique worldwide.

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    Lake Baikal

    Lake Baikal is a rift lake in Russia, located in southern Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast.

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    Melissani Cave, Kefalonia Island

    Melissani Cave or Melissani Lake, also Melisani is a cave located on the island of Kefalonia, northwest of Sami, about 5 km SE of Agia Efthymia, NE of Argostoli and NW of Poros. The Ionian Sea lies to the east with the Strait of Ithaca.

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    Oberaletsch Glacier

    The Oberaletsch Glacier is a valley glacier on the south side of the Bernese Alps, in the canton of Valais. It has a length of 9 km (5.6 mi) with an average width of just under 1 km (0.62 mi) and an area of about 22 km2 (8.5 sq mi).

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    Petrified Forest

    Petrified Forest. The area outside Maadi, which lies about 30 kms away from Cairo, in the year 1989, was declared to be a protectorate. The same is referred as The Petrified Forest and is about 35 million years old at least.

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    Petrified forest of Lesbos

    The petrified forest of Lesbos is a petrified forest on Lesbos in Greece. It has been designated as a protected natural monument.

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    Pinacate Peaks

    The Pinacate Peaks are a volcanic group of volcanic peaks and cinder cones located mostly in the Mexican state of Sonora along the international border adjacent to the U.S. state of Arizona, surrounded by the vast sand dune field of the Gran Desierto de Altar, at the desert's southeast.

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    Seongsan Ilchulbong

    Seongsan Ilchulbong, also called ‘Sunrise Peak’, is an archetypal tuff cone formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions upon a shallow seabed about 5 thousand years ago.