New 7 Wonders campaign launches online voting for world's top 7 natural wonders; Grand Canyon and Mount Everest are among the contenders.

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The Grand Canyon, Mount Everest and Loch Ness will vie with over 200 other spectacular places in the next phase of a global competition for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

The 261 nominees from 222 countries include some of the most famous mountain peaks, lakes, and other attractions, such as the Great Barrier Reef and Niagara Falls.

The results were released in Geneva by organizers of the Swiss-based nonprofit, New 7 Wonders, last week.

Over a billion voters are expected to join in Internet voting that will nominate 77 semifinalists for the top natural wonders.

Seven man-made wonders were chosen through similar voting 18 months ago.

Those who want to vote can do so at www.new7wonders.com/hp. A panel of experts, chaired by Federico Mayor, former chief of UNESCO, will reduce the list to 21 finalists in July. The seven winners will then be chosen in another round of public voting lasting until 2011.

Around 100 million people voted in the recent selection of the seven man-made wonders.

The winners were the Colosseum, Italy; the Great Wall of China; the Taj Mahal, India; Petra, Jordan; Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil; Machu Picchu, Peru and the Pyramid at Chichén Itza, Mexico.