The Dead Sea has made the list of candidates for the new "Seven Natural Wonders of the World" Friday, after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed earlier in the week to support the initiative.

The lake will be one of the 77 sites nominated for the prestigious honor, along with such contenders as the Grand Canyon, Germany's Black Forest, and the Great Barrier Reef.

Palestinian support for the Dead Sea's nomination came less than a week after the Palestinian Authority said it would not support the Dead Sea's candidacy, because it is being sponsored by a West Bank settler council in the Jordan Valley.

The New 7 Wonders of Nature is a global Internet contest under the slogan: "If we want to save anything, we first need to truly appreciate it." In 2007 it chose the new seven man-made wonders of the world.

Its rules state that if a nominee site is located in more than one country, all countries in which it is located must form an Official Supporting Committee (OSC) by July 7.

For the Dead Sea, a win would highlight the environmental threat to a unique lake which has shrunk dramatically in the past 30 years due to human exploitation of the Jordan River feed waters and Dead Sea mineral extraction.