UNESCO World Heritage Bucket List

After reading an article about the 25 new inscriptions to the UNESCO World Heritage List I decided to visit the places on the list that seems the most interesting before I die, so here it goes, my UNESCO World Heritage Bucket List:

– Minaret and Remains of Jam

– Djémelia
– Tassili n’Ajjer

– Iguazu National Park
– Cueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas
– Ischigualasto / Talampaya Natural Parks

– Great Barrier Reef
– Lord Howe Island Group
– Gondwana Rainforests of Australia
– Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
– Fraser Island
– Sydney Opera House

– Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps

– Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape

– The Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur

– Bridgetown and its Garrison

– Fuerte de Samaipata
– Noel Kempff Mercado National Park

– Tsodilo

– Serra da Capivara National Park

– Angkor

– Canadian Rocky Mountains

– Rapa Nui Island

– The Forbidden City
– Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
– The Great Wall
– Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu
– Leshan Giant Buddha
– Longmen Grottoes
– Wolong, Mt Siguniang and Jiajin Mountains (Giant Panda sanctuaries)

– Los Katíos National Park

– Palace of Diocletian (check)

– Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur
– Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae

– Tiya
– Fasil Ghebbi
– Aksum

– Chartres Cathedral
– Caves of the Vézère Valley
– Cathedral of Notre-Dame
– Fortified City of Carcassonne

– Kunta Kinteh Island

– Acropolis
– Meteora
– Olympia

– Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua

– Maya Site of Copan

– Taj Mahal

– Prambanan Temple Compounds
– Sangiran Early Man Site

– Persepolis
– Tchogha Zanbil
– The Persian Garden

– Piazza del Duomo
Venice (check)
– Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata

– Himeji-jo
– Yakushima
– Genbaku Dome
– Shrines and Temples of Nikko
– Hiraizumi
– Ogasawara Islands

– Petra
– Quseir Amra

– Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

Korea, North (Democratic People´s Republic of Korea)
– Complex of Koguryo Tombs

Korea, South (Republic of Korea)
– Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple
– Hwaseong Fortress
– Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes
– Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
– Hahoe and Yangdong

Lao People´s Democratic Republic
– Town of Luan Prabang
– Vat Phou

– Anjar
– Baalbek
– Tyre
– Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab)

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
– Archaeological Site of Cyrene
– Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna
– Archaeological Site of Sabratha

– City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications

– Tsingy de Bemaraha Nature Reserve
– Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
– Rainforests of the Atsinanana

– Old Towns of Djenné
– Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons)
– Timbuktu

– Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
– Megalithic Temples of Malta

Marshall Islands
– Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site

– Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata

– Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán
– Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque
– Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan
– Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza
– El Tajin, Pre-Hispanic City
– Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco
– Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche
– Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California
– Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila
– Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
– Camino Real de Tierra Adentro

– Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou
– Archaeological Site of Volubilis

– Twyfelfontein

– Kathmandu Valley
– Sagarmatha National Park
– Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha

New Zealand
– Tongariro National Park
– New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands

– Ruins of León Viejo

– Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove

– Bryggen in Bergen (check)
– Urnes Stave Church
– Røros Mining Town (check)
– Vegaøyan
– Geirangerfjord (check)
– Nærøyfjord

– Bahla Fort

– Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro
– Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol
– Taxila
– Rohtas Fort

– Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
– Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana
– Sacred City of Caral-Supe

– Auschwitz Birkenau

– Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania

Russian Federation
– Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

Saint Kitts and Nevis
– Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park

San Marino
– San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano

Saudi Arabia
– Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madâin Sâlih)
– At-Turaif District in ad-Dir’iyah

– Island of Gorée
– Saloum Delta

– Aldabra Atoll
– Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve

South Africa
– Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs
– Robben Island

– Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid
– Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe
– Pyrénées – Mont Perdu
– Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture
– Teide National Park (check)
– Tower of Hercules

Sri Lanka
– Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
– Ancient City of Sigiriya
– Golden Temple of Dambulla

– Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region
– Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe

– Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes

Syrian Arab Republic
– Ancient City of Damascus
– Ancient City of Bosra
– Site of Palmyra
– Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din

– Proto-urban site of Sarazm

Tanzania, United Republic of
– Serengeti National Park
– Kilimanjaro National Park
– Kondoa Rock-Art Sites

– Historic City of Ayutthaya
– Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns
– Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries

– Amphitheatre of El Jem
– Archaeological Site of Carthage
– Punic Town of Kerkuane and its Necropolis
– Dougga / Thugga

–  Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği
– Hattusha: the Hittite Capital
– Nemrut Dağ
– Hierapolis-Pamukkale
– Xanthos-Letoon
– Archaeological Site of Troy
– Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex

– State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv”
– Kunya-Urgench
– Parthian Fortresses of Nisa

– Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi

– Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
– Durham Castle and Cathedral
– St Kilda
– Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
– Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey
– City of Bath
– Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Church
– Tower of London

United States of America
– Mesa Verde National Park
– Yellowstone National Park
– Everglades National Park
– Grand Canyon National Park
– Independence Hall
– Redwood National and State Parks
– Mammoth Cave National Park
– Great Smoky Mountains National Park
– Statue of Liberty (check)
– Yosemite National Park
– Chaco Culture
– Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
– Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville

– Itchan Kala

– Chief Roi Mata’s Domain

– Complex of Hué Monuments
– My Son Sanctuary

– Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls

– Great Zimbabwe National Monument
– Khami Ruins National Monument
– Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls
– Matobo Hill


Sex with time-travellers might kill you.

When time travel finally becomes possible, we might want to think twice about getting it on. According to a new study on tiny shrimp (Artemia franciscana), sex with partners from a different time could kill you.

Researchers at the Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CEFE) in Montpellier, France, collected preserved brine shrimp eggs from various generations, and then reanimated them with water. Nicolas Rode and colleagues mated pairs of brine shrimp that had been reanimated from eggs preserved since 1985, 1996 and 2007, a period representing roughly 160 generations. They found that females that mated with males from the past or future died off sooner than those that mated with their own generation. The longer the time-shift, the earlier they died: The 22-year time difference shortened female lifetimes by 12 percent; the effect was 3 percent for the 11-year time-shift.

Interestingly, this didn’t affect the females’ reproductive success. Those that lived shorter lives produced the same average number of offspring, they just did it at a faster pace. “Females’ life histories are complex and are constantly adjusted,” explains study co-author Thomas Lenormand. These adjustments reflect the trade-offs between survival and reproduction in nature.

Brine shrimp are part of an interesting class of animal whose eggs can survive decades of drought in a form of dormancy known as cryptobiosis. Once the eggs are reintroduced to water—either in nature or in the lab—they hatch. The species therefore makes an ideal subject for a time-traveling experiment like this one.

What makes time-shifting sex hazardous to health is something called antagonistic coevolution, a way that different species (parasites and hosts, for example) or members of the same species (males and females) adapt to each other to promote their own individual reproductive interests. In nature’s sex wars, males campaign for more offspring—the proverbial seed-spreading—while females play hard-to-get because they bear most of the burden of reproduction and parenthood.

Evolutionary biologists say these conflicts are common in nature, and could occur either as an arms race, with each side’s weapons getting bigger and better, or as a fluctuation, where the two sides take turns dominating each other over time with novel adaptations.

If males and females coevolve their sex organs in tandem, mating with a partner from a different time could leave you unprepared—sort of like heading into modern war with 17th-century armor. The brine shrimp experiment shows just this.

Unfortunately, the researchers couldn’t determine whether there were arms-race-style or fluctuation-style adaptations at work in this experiment. They’d need a longer time-shift to figure that out, which would test the limits of brine shrimp cryptobiosis. They also don’t know what traits made the time-shifting males more deadly. Lenormand and Rode say they’d like to investigate these traits in the future. It could have something to do with amplexus, in which male brine shrimp grasp their partners for hours or even days after sex to keep them from mating with others. A byproduct of this so-called mate guarding is that the females can’t feed, which could shorten their lifetimes. The researchers would also like to flip the experiment on its head, studying the effects of time-shifting sex on males instead of females.

So what does shrimp sex have to do with us? Sexual conflicts and antagonistic coevolution are “probably central to understanding male/female behavior,” Lenormand says. In fact, it turns out that antagonistic coevolution is hard at work in humans today. I’ve previously written about the possible antidepressant properties of seminal fluid. But there’s a dark side to semen, too. Gordon Gallup, an evolutionary biologist as SUNY Albany explained it thus:

“At the level of semen chemistry and vaginal chemistry, there’s competition. The vagina is a very hostile environment for sperm. When a female is inseminated, the presence of the semen triggers an immune reaction, so semen—and particularly the sperm—are treated as pathogens. Male seminal plasma contains all kinds of chemicals that are designed to take this into account. Seminal plasma is alkaline, and a couple seconds after ejaculation the pH of the vagina approaches neutrality, which makes it a friendly environment for sperm. Sperm also contains a lot of immunosuppressants that suppress the female’s immune system and counteract this immune reaction to semen.”