Sometimes we forget to appreciate the many gorgeous places we have on earth until they are gone. Climate change, pollution and uncontrolled tourism threaten to destroy some of these wonders across the world. You may want to put these 8 places on your list before they vanish from the face of the earth.
1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest and most stunning coral reef in the world, along with 600 islands and over 1500 species of fish.
This may not be the case for long, as the natural wonder is gradually damaged by coral bleaching, ocean acidification, increased sea temperature, pollution and cyclones. Over the past 30 years, half of its coral coverage has vanished and studies in 2017 suggest that these parts may never recover to full health.
2. Venice, Italy
Criss-crossed by dreamy canals and bridges, this Romantic Italian city has sparked the imagination of artists, writers and wanderers for centuries. Beyond the surface, the seasonal flooding in Venice has become more severe due to rising sea levels. Reports also show that it is sinking five times faster than initially thought and we are left to wonder how much time this beautiful city has left.
3. Machu Picchu, Peru
Wrapped by a sea of clouds, these breathtaking ancient Incan ruins make you feel like you are in an Indiana Jones film or other planet.
But at what cost? The “Lost City” and the Inca trail that leads up to it is now threatened by uncontrolled growth of tourism and erosion. Perhaps someday it will become “lost” once more.
4. Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
A paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts, the national park has lost most of its glaciers to climate change. Only 25 of 150 glaciers currently remain and they are on bought time – research indicates that they may completely disappear in 15 years.
5. Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska
Mendenhall Glacier is remnant of the last ice age and a spectacular ice cave that stretches 13 miles across the Jeneau Ice Field in Alaska. It’s like stepping into a magical winter wonderland!
Over the past 50 years, records show that glaciers in Alaska have shrunk at an alarming rate, caused by increased global temperature. As it continues to melt each year, this dramatic change threatens to impact the ecosystem and wildlife surrounding it.
6. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The jewel of Cambodia and the world’s largest ancient city attracts plenty of visitors to its serene grounds. Sadly, the rise in number of hotels there has led to more drilling to extract water. The ground beneath the temples have become unstable and there is a danger of this heritage wonder collapsing.
7. The Dead Sea, Palestine, Israel and Jordan
Believe it or not, the Dead Sea…is slowly dying. Famous for its high salt content and ability to make any visitor float effortlessly on the surface, the water levels are declining at a rate of 3.3 feet per year. The reason for this phenomenon? Mineral extraction industries, ecological influences and increased tourism have been pinpointed as likely factors.
8. The Maldives
There is trouble in a paradise like The Maldives too! Over 80% of the 1,200 islands in this tropical oasis is situated less than one metre above sea level. The rising ocean levels now threatens to submerge the country. It is predicted that the Maldives will no longer be suitable for human habitation within a century.