Newest Wonders of the World
Courtesy of UNESCO/David Trilling
Pamir National Park, Tajikistan
This roughly 6.5-million-acre park is 18 percent of Tajikistan’s total size, yet frequent strong earthquakes and extreme seasonal weather leave it only sparsely populated. That’s worked to splendid advantage for the endangered species that are sheltered there: among them, snow leopards, Siberian ibex, Marco Polo sheep, and markhors (wild goats with spectacularly long, curved horns). The park is at the center of the so-called Pamir Knot, where the highest mountain ranges in Eurasia meet at peaks that reach 22,000 feet.