Some 46 large, earthen residences such as this dot a secluded valley in southwestern Fujian Province, China. Built to house entire family clans, some of these giant structures, called tulou, have stood in the region since the 11th century.
Fujian's tulou complex is among 27 new World Heritage sites named in July 2008 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The group chose from among 43 nominated sites. (See photos of eight natural wonders added in 2008.)
UNESCO chose the tulou, which are generally circular or square and can house up to 800 people, for their unique architecture and harmonious relationship with the environment.