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The northern lights, chosen the best wonder of the world by Lonely Planet

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Lonely Planet continues to carry out macro surveys of its community of Spanish travelers on Instagram @lonelyplanet_es, which already has more than 110,000 followers. The last survey carried out by Lonely Planet to its instagramers asked them to choose the most extraordinary wonders of the planet, both natural and man-made. More than 114,000 travelers have participated on this occasion in the macro survey, in which the phenomenon of the northern lights has been the most voted "wonder of the world", by a large majority.

For this vote , 32 places and natural phenomena were previously selected among the 101 selected by Lonely Planet in its book 101 wonders of the world. The Lonely Planet community of travelers has been choosing its favorite among these 32 proposals, in an active competition based on eliminations: round of 16, quarter-finals, semifinals... until reaching the grand final that has been played between the northern lights and Petra (Jordan) . In third and fourth position, the travelers chose the valleys of Iguazú (Argentina-Brazil) and Halong Bay (Vietnam).

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The Inuit believed that those lights dancing in the sky were the souls of the dead, Scandinavian folklore describes them as the spirits of unmarried women, and according to the Japanese, a baby conceived under such a spectacle will be lucky. However, modern science shows a different view of the celestial kaleidoscope we call the Northern Lights.

The phenomenon occurs when particles emitted by solar explosions are attracted by the Earth's magnetic field towards the North Pole. Each will do their interpretation of the ethereal green, white, violet or red veils, sparkling and dancing like silent fireworks in the night sky. Although figures such as columns, stripes, wisps, and vibrant halos of light appear, it is most beautiful when it takes the form of pale curtains blowing in a gentle breeze. Normally, the Arctic is pale pink or light green, but in periods of extreme activity, it can turn yellow or crimson.

Three things are required to see it: a dark, clear sky, a place far to the north, and a little luck. Although magnificent auroras can be seen anywhere near the arctic, the northern regions of Norway and Iceland are among the best places on the planet to see them: the city of Tromsø, 400 km north of the arctic circle, is the most popular site for Norway to observe it; in Iceland you can take special excursions to see the auroras from Reykjavik, the capital.

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