What do the Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia have in common? All have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, meaning they’re among the most important places on planet Earth.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) status is given only to cultural and natural sites that are considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. The designation protects them from ever being altered. Today there are 1,092 UNESCO sites around the world.
To be included on the list, sites must meet at least one out of 10 selection criteria. Some of the criteria include examples of human creative genius, testimony to cultural tradition, natural phenomena or beauty, and major stages of Earth’s history. Every site is considered to be universal, belonging to all the people of the world, irrespective of where they live.
Ready to see which incredible locales made the cut for 2018? The 20 newest UNESCO members are...