It can be easy to take for granted some of the world’s top destination spots. You might think they’ll always be around but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The Earth is constantly evolving so it’s normal for these places to deteriorate over time, but forces like climate change and tourism are also threatening the planet.
Whether its a natural attraction like the Great Barrier Reef or a man-made one like the Taj Mahal, many of them are nearing their end. These famous travel spots won’t be around forever, so read on and find out which ones you should see before it’s too late.
The Great Wall of China Is Slowly Eroding
The Great Wall of China was originally built to protect the country from raids against the Mongolians and other invaders. This almost 3,000-year-old monument is one of the greatest wonders of the world at 12,427 miles long.
One reason the wall is endangered is that there isn’t a way to protect it from natural causes, such as rainstorms and heavy winds. There are also millions of people that visit the structure every year, which contributes to deterioration. Luckily, there’s an official group that ensures its protection year-round.
The Dead Sea Is Quickly Evaporating
The Dead Sea is located at the absolute lowest point on earth. It sits at 1,380 feet below sea level and is known as being one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water. The Dead Sea has become endangered due to the heat from the Middle East.
The harsh climate around the Dead Sea is causing the water to evaporate, dropping at over three feet per year. With the declining rate of the volume of water, the Dead Sea is set to lose about a third of its mass before it can reach equilibrium. That means you really don’t have much longer to see it before it’s just a crater in the ground.
Climate Change Is Melting Antarctica Away
One place that’s drastically becoming more endangered as the years go by is Antarctica. The life on this continent relies on a certain ecosystem, but global warming is causing great threats to Antarctica’s biodiversity. Ice-dependent species, like penguins and polar bears, are continuing to lose their habitats and food sources.
Also, Antarctica’s ice caps are how 90 percent of the planet receives fresh water. The rising temperatures are causing these glaciers to melt. The excess of water in the oceans due to the melting ice caps can cause flooding on many surrounding islands.
The Taj Mahal Might Collapse Upon Itself
Since being completed in 1653, the Taj Mahal has become one of the most iconic buildings in the world. India’s prized possession is made from an ivory-white marble and houses tombs of some of the famous Indians in history. It also changes color depending on the time of day from the sunlight.
It is predicted that the mausoleum could collapse in the near future due to erosion and pollution. Dense smog created by the high population in India is discoloring the marble, and with the nearby river drying up from natural causes, the people near the area are losing the fresh air.
The Great Pyramids Of Giza Can Only Survive The Harsh Weather For So Long
The Great Pyramids of Giza are a bucket list travel destination for many people. This Egyptian monument is the last remaining of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. It took over 20 years to build this magnificent landmark, but after being around for many thousands of years it has started to become run-down.
After withstanding sandstorms, the unpredictable desert weather, earthquakes, and more, the pyramids are eroding at a rapid rate. It’s only natural for these structures to get worn-down as they get older, but it’s crucial that there is work done to prevent and fix destruction caused by the pyramid’s many threats.
Route 66 Needs Money To Help Fix It
U.S. Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926 and ranges from the American cities of Santa Monica in the west to Chicago in the east. While it is a strong symbol of U.S. culture, developers have been turning many parts of this national landmark into generic high-rises and other new buildings.
The land across the highway is getting worse due to both natural disasters and just the progression of time. In order for this historic route to stay preserved, it needs a great deal of money, awareness, and activists that will strive to keep it afloat.
Venice Is Slowly Sinking Into The Water
There are places that are filled with such culture and history, and Venice, Italy is one of those fantastic locations. There are so many activities, restaurants, and sights to spend time seeing, but Venice is in danger of vanishing forever.
Climate change is dramatically shifting the sea levels upward, leading to dangerous floods. These floods occur at least 100 times a year and the city is at a high risk of sinking completely within the next century. Mass tourism and cruise ships are also part of the problem because they are causing the marsh on which Venice sits to crumble away.
Mining Companies Are Digging Dangerously Close To The Grand Canyon
When people think of iconic American landmarks, the Grand Canyon is usually at the top of their list. This majestic natural monument is located in Arizona and is surrounded by beautiful and rich colors of rock that go miles down into the earth. Since the Grand Canyon started forming millions of years ago, it’s only natural that it is one of the most endangered places in the world.
The mining around this historical site is causing some destruction. Also, since it’s one of the most visited places across the globe, tourists are starting to wear it down.
85% Of Mount Kilimanjaro’s Ice Has Already Melted
Otherwise known as Tanzania’s most popular landmark, Mount Kilimanjaro stands at almost 20,000 feet tall off the coast of Africa. People have been traveling here since the 1800s to take in its glorious landscape. Sadly, scientists have predicted that this snow-covered volcano may not be here for much longer.
The ice sheet has already shrunk a whopping 85 percent and is still continuing to disappear. With global warming at an all time high, the scientific community has declared that the glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro have become an endangered species of their own.
Overfishing And Ship Traffic Is Killing The Great Barrier Reef
Many fans of marine life are aware of the enormous Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia. It is home to thousands of species of sea life and is even visible from outer space. With so many sea animals and plants using it as their habitat, it’s also facing numerous threats to its ecosystem.
The Great Barrier Reef is slowly deteriorating from factors such as climate change, overfishing, and ship traffic. Conservationists are working diligently to protect the reef from pollution and preserving the coral. Many of the native species are relying on relief efforts to survive.
Tourism Is Leaving Big Sur Run-Down And Ruined
Along the coast of central California hides the magical little town of Big Sur. It is known for its dramatic scenery and a long and scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline. People mostly go there to hike, camp, or just hang out at the beach.
This national treasure is at risk due to many natural causes including droughts, landslides, and the numerous California forest fires. Tourism is also starting to leave the land run-down and ruined. These threats are having a negative impact on the land and putting it in danger of becoming a forgotten city.
Peru Has Had To Regulate Tourism Around Machu Picchu
When people take trips around the world, it’s hard to skip Machu Picchu. “The Lost City” is one of Peru’s most popular tourist destinations. It sits high atop the Andes Mountains and is a historic landmark from the 15th century when it was left abandoned by the Incans.
These ancient ruins are at risk of eroding and natural landslides that would lead to a complete collapse of the structure. In order to preserve this international site, official Peruvian organizations have stepped up and regulated the tourist traffic. It’s difficult to prevent an ancient place from being endangered, but it’s worth it.
The Amazon Rainforest Can’t Fight Climate Change On Its Own
It’s hard to miss the Amazon Rainforest. It stretches over two million miles throughout Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and other South American countries, making it the largest rainforest in the world. The vast rivers and tropical life that run through the rainforest are breathtaking, but with all this land comes reason for endangerment.
The Amazon is at risk because of terrible threats like mining and deforestation. All the species that reside there are now losing their natural habitats and there have been cases of poisoning from oil and chemical spills. As the threats continue to increase, life in the rainforest may cease to exist.
Public Transportation Might Ruin Stonehenge
Stonehenge is a mysterious and wondrous monument in Wiltshire, England that may have been built as early as 3000 B.C. It is thought to have originally been used as a burial ground, and many are awestruck at how it is still around after all this time.
While it may not be surprising that Stonehenge is one of the most endangered places, it is still unfortunate that there’s a possibility that it could be gone. One of its more recent threats is a tunnel project that is aimed at decreasing road traffic in the area.
The Galapagos Islands Can’t Survive With All The Tourism
While Charles Darwin was known for discovering his evolution theory in this Ecuadorian providence, the Galapagos Islands are another travel destination that is endangered. This vast island in the Pacific Ocean is home to thousands of unique wildlife species.
Some of the many issues the island is facing include extreme weather events, introduced species, a fast-growing population, and exploding tourism. Global warming is causing the coral reefs to disappear and the overpopulation from tourists is how many of the native animals and plant life are losing their habitats. While people are encouraged to visit, they need to take precaution.
White Cliffs Of Dover Are Falling Into The Sea
Towering at 350 feet tall, the White Cliffs of Dover is another landmark that is greatly endangered. The cliffs are located on part of the coastline in Kent, England and can sometimes be seen from the French coast. Currently, the cliffs are eroding at an alarming rate due to the numerous storms caused by climate change.
The chalky-like front appearance of the cliffs is very vulnerable to the rapid erosion and is in danger of disappearing altogether. The beaches that once were prominent around the cliffs are hardly there at all anymore.
Everglades National Park Is Shrinking Rapidly
The Everglades National Park in Florida is a subtropical wetland that started to form at the end of the last Ice Age. There’s a diverse wildlife population across its marshes and bays. The park is in critical danger due to a multitude of factors including human population growth, development, invasive species, water pollution, and more.
The land mass of the Everglades is shrinking rapidly. It started as 11,000 square miles and is now at an alarming 2,500 square miles. There are some archaeologists that are helping to protect and restore the ecosystem, but it’s a lot of work for few people.
The Swiss Alps Gets Too Much Unpredictable Weather
It’s no surprise that global warming is claiming another international travel destination. The Swiss Alps are shrinking at an accelerated pace due to the glacial land mass melting from the extreme temperatures. It’s predicted that if these harsh conditions continue, the Swiss Alps will be gone by 2050.
The Swiss Alps have an extremely vulnerable ecosystem, so the unpredictable weather that accompanies climate change is limiting their valuable resources. This has led to frequent droughts during the summer, and heavy rainstorms causing floods and landslides during the winter. Also, many species are losing their habitats due to severe damage.
Puerto Rico And U.S. Virgin Islands Is Still Suffering From Hurricane Maria
After the devastating Hurricane Maria swept through the islands, it left extensive damage to Caribbean resources. Many people lost their homes, and the islands were burdened with a lot of financial constraints without a clear plan to fix the destruction.
This once lively place is mourning the 3,000 people who lost their lives over a year ago. The island is close to collapse due to the lack of viable products and services. While they are striving to recover as quickly as possible, it’s going to take a long time for them to fix what the hurricane destroyed.
Polynesia and Micronesia Is Getting Beat Up By The Weather
Also known as the “epicenter of the current global extinction,” Polynesia and Micronesia are made up of 4,500 islands throughout the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. Settlers made their home here a few thousand years ago, and since then many of its species have started to go extinct due to things like predators and global warming.
Polynesia and Micronesia have also endured weather catastrophes, such as cyclones, floods, droughts, and wildfire. While these conditions are normal to this area of the globe, it is causing a lot of harm to the islands.