Famous Places to Visit Before They Disappear
It’s time to dig out your bucket list and take a hard look because the world might have to say goodbye to some of its most iconic places soon. Scientists predict that some of the world's most famous landmarks, including Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest and Venice, Italy, will disappear much sooner than you think..
Many threats play a part in the upcoming demise of these key spots, including human intrusion and rising temperatures. Are any of your bucket list locations on the list? Be sure you know which famous places to visit before they disappear for good.
Islands of Seychelles
Ever since Kate Middleton and Prince William picked the Seychelles Islands for their royal honeymoon, the islands became hot destinations. However, there’s bad news for honeymooners and paradise-seekers: The Seychelles Islands are sinking. Researchers believe they will eventually completely disappear.
The world's second-largest island country, Madagascar, is a dreamland for nature and outdoor lovers. It’s known for its unique animal and plant kingdom, such as the "Avenue of the Baobabs." In fact, you can't find 80% of Madagascar’s plant life anywhere else on the planet.
Glaciers in Montana's Glacier National Park
Massive glaciers from the last Ice Age carved the gorgeous mountains of Glacier National Park in Montana, but these glaciers won't last forever. The park logged 150 glaciers in 1850, but the number has melted down to only 25 in 2019. Eek!
Romantic gondola rides on the canals of Venice, Italy, won't exist much longer because the city is sinking. Each year, Venice subsides almost 0.08 inches into the depths. The Italian city has been sinking for centuries, so this information is nothing new.
Africa’s Congo Basin
More than 10,000 plant species, 1,000 bird species and 400 mammal species call the Congo Basin home. Found in Central Africa, the Congo Basin is one of the most biodiverse places in the world and the second-largest rainforest on the planet.
The Dead Sea
Bordering Jordan and Israel, the Dead Sea attracts tourists for its unique swimming. It's 10 times saltier than the ocean, making the Dead Sea one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. That high salt density allows people to float effortlessly.
The Taj Mahal
In the 17th century, Mughal ruler Shah Jahan built a palace as a tomb to bury his beloved wife. This palace became known as the world-famous Taj Mahal, which includes a mosque, a guest house and gardens. However, the Indian landmark is suffering from some serious threats.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is dying. The natural wonder is known for its colorful corals, but much of the reef has turned white and lifeless in recent years. In fact, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies discovered almost 93% of the site is dying from mass coral bleaching.
Egypt's Pyramids and Great Sphinx
The iconic Egyptian pyramids attract about 35 million visitors each year. Some of the pyramids date back to around 2667 to 2648 B.C.E. After standing for thousands of years, the Egyptian wonders are growing weaker. Observers predict the pyramids, monuments and tombs will eventually collapse.
Brazil's Amazon Rainforest
Brazil's Amazon Rainforest experienced a record-breaking number of fires in August 2019, engulfing nearby cities in smoke and blackening the sky. But the world's largest rainforest has faced serious problems before. In the first eight months of 2019 alone, the Amazon suffered from more than 70,000 fires.
Great Wall of China
Stretching 13,171 miles, the Great Wall of China is one of the world's largest man-made structures. It took the power of 300,000 soldiers and 500,000 common folks to construct the wall. The iconic structure was used to protect Chinese empires and transport goods.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the top tourist attractions in the U.S. It's also one of the most endangered historic places in the country, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. More development projects are putting the canyon's future in danger.
Looking for a tropical vacation? Start booking tickets to the Maldives because the destination is sinking. Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are a hot spot for diving and snorkeling in turquoise clear waters. Seaplane tours are popular too.
The City of Petra (The Rose City)
The ancient city of Petra is a jaw-dropping archaeological site that was built as early as the 5th century B.C. Carved into pink sandstone cliffs, Petra gained its nickname, "The Rose City." Tourists venture to Jordan's southwestern desert to explore the city and its temples and tombs.
Belize Barrier Reef
Belize Barrier Reef is the second-largest reef system in the world. Its beautiful waters are perfect for sea kayaking and snorkeling. In 2009, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre added the Belize Barrier Reef to its endangered list, but nine years later, the reef beat the list.
Patagonia of Chile
It’s already bad when one giant iceberg breaks off a glacier, so when two icebergs separated from Chile’s glaciers, it was definitely a sign of a larger problem. Chile’s Patagonian region is a stunning place featuring ice fields and glaciers, so what's the issue?
Found in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the Telouet Kasbah was once a palace for the powerful El Glaoui family. It was developed in the 18th and 19th centuries and features Moorish architecture, ornate windows and painted ceilings, but these details won't continue to exist for long.
Located in California, Big Sur is known for its scenic highway and jaw-dropping beaches. However, Big Sur’s beautiful terrain has been weakened by landslides, droughts and forest fires. In fact, a major landslide closed a section of California’s highway in 2017. For 14 months, the state cleared 6 million tons of dirt and rock from the region.
Bolivia’s Cerro Rico Mountain (The Mountain That Eats Men)
At 13,420 feet, Potosí is one of the world's highest cities. It's also home to Cerro Rico Mountain, the location of a notorious silver mine. Mining has been part of the mountain's history for hundreds of years, but it has also become a huge problem.
Florida’s Everglades National Park
The Everglades is a system of wetlands and forests filled with unique animal life and 200 archaeological sites. Florida's Everglades National Park was built to protect more than 800 species of land and water animals that live there. With so much to see, it's no surprise that a million tourists visit the park each year.
Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro
Ernest Hemingway made Mount Kilimanjaro famous with his short story, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." Found in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is a popular snow-covered summit for climbers. It also draws many scientists due to its melting glaciers and vanishing ice fields. Yikes!
The North Pole
Plenty of children grow up believing Santa Claus and his magical elves live at the North Pole. In reality, the winter wonderland is home to real organisms, like polar bears and arctic foxes. Unfortunately, the North Pole's future looks bleak.
Shibam, also called the "oldest skyscraper city" in the world, has survived since the 16th century. The Yemen city is a great, unique model of buildings higher than five stories. Modern-day skyscrapers are made using steel framework, but the ones in Shibam are made from natural elements.
Standing on the plains of Wiltshire, England, Stonehenge is one of the world's most famous monuments. The iconic structure is made of massive upright stones and stone arches that form a circle. Scientists don't know exactly who built it — some people like to believe aliens, the devil or glaciers created it. That's another story.
The Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps are heating up, and they’re definitely suffering from the harmful effects. At a lower altitude than other mountain ranges, the glaciers on the Alps have been melting for more than 150 years. In the 1980s, the accelerated retreat rate jumped significantly.
The Door to Hell
The Door to Hell, also known as the Darvaza gas crater, is one of Earth’s spookiest places. The burning hole sits in the middle of the Karakum Desert, but it wasn’t always blazing. In fact, it was a regular field that collapsed into an underground cavern after workers hit a natural gas pocket.
Spanning 4,000 miles, the Sundarbans region consists of land and water in the Ganges Delta of Bangladesh. The area is home to the largest mangrove forest on the planet. Many endangered species live in the Sundarbans, including Royal Bengal tigers, Gangetic dolphins and ground turtles.
Mali’s Mosque of Timbuktu
Located in Mali, the Djinguereber Mosque is also known as the great mosque of Timbuktu. It became legally protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 1998. However, no one can save the mosque from the rising temperatures and heavy rainfall that weaken it everyday.
Joshua Tree National Park
Near Palm Springs and San Bernardino, Joshua Tree National Park is a California treasure. The Joshua trees in the park are native to the Mojave Desert, but in recent years, rain has been a stranger to the desert, and it’s only getting worse.
The Galápagos Islands
Some people say Charles Darwin’s famous study on Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands was both a blessing and a curse. His work led to important theories on evolution and natural selection. However, with such a rich history and a large number of endemic species, how could tourists resist visiting the islands?