Nothing lasts forever. One way or another, all good things must come to an end eventually. In this case, we’re going to explore some of the most exotic places in the world that many adventurers only have so much time left to see. Places, much like animals, can become endangered and some of the world’s most amazing sights and locations are gradually disappearing. Multiple different factors are affecting our oceans, beaches, and even cities; causing them to slowly change. Here are ten places that are on the brink of changing forever, some even disappearing entirely. Trust me when I saw you should plan a trip to these locals before you miss your chance.
1. Great Barrier Reef
The world’s largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef is composed of over 2,900-individual reefs containing the most diverse group of living organisms. Known as one of the world’s premier diving sites, the Great Barrier Reef is suffering from rising ocean temperature, water pollution, and fishing which is causing erosion to the largest coral reef in the world. When conditions change, organisms leave, causing mass coral bleaching. Due to the coral bleaching, the Great Barrier Reef is said to only be around for less than 100 years. With such a spectacular array of coral and fish, travelers should put this on their must-see list.
© Farbenfrohe Wunderwelt
2. Venice, Italy
Though its exotic watery canals evoke romantic feelings, Venice may soon join Atlantis. Venice has long been sinking, but the rising sea levels have made the move all more drastic. The frequency of floods increase each year, leaving many residents to wonder how much longer Venice will stay above water. While it remains above ground make sure to cruise the Grand Canal and view the gorgeous mosaics of the Basilica di San Marco.
© Pedro Szekely
3. Dead Sea
Over the last four decades, the salty lake has shrunk by a third and sunk over 80 feet. As a result, any seaside resorts and restaurants have been left a mile away from the shore. This has all been caused by bordering countries diverting the Dead Sea’s water for their own use. If nothing is done, the famed sea could dry up within the next 40 years. Try to visit the Dead Sea before it’s gone for good. The Dead Sea’s water is composed of 30 percent saline, making for a fun time for visitors to float around.
© Yair Aronshtam
4. Taj Mahal
Between the crowds of tourists and air pollution, the Taj Mahal is choosing to close its doors as soon as possible. The Taj Mahal welcomes over three million visitors a year, causing high traffic in Agra, India. This may not be in the case in a few years, with some groups urging India to close the Taj Mahal to the public due to air pollution, shoddy restoration, population explosion, and tourism overall eroding the structures exterior. Until the palace is once again deemed sound, the days of visiting the great domed palace may be numbered. Until then, visitors can marvel in the palace’s magnificent details complete with reflecting pool.
© Christopher John SSF
5. Glacier National Park
100 years ago, there was as many as 150 glaciers throughout Glacier National Park. The park has seen a 2 degree Celsius rise in temperature since 1990. While there were once 150 active glaciers, only 25 remain today. Scientists have predicted that all the glaciers in the park’s main basin will disappear in less than 20 years. In the absence of cold water, the ecosystem of the park may change dramatically when the glaciers are gone. Be sure to visit as soon as you can to truly appreciate the majesty of the park’s glaciers.
© Rex Brown
6. Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are famous for their biodiversity, increasing tourism by 12 percent per year. Hotels and restaurants have taken away from the island’s natural beauty of the once isolated islands. Not only are the man-made structures obscuring the island’s natural beauty, the islands bird and reptile population are endemic and has increased thanks to travelers smuggling animals. As of right now, it’s unclear how long tourists can truly enjoy the island’s beauty, but until then try to travel to the Galapagos and experience the natural wonders of the islands.
7. Machu Picchu
Home to the ruins of the medieval Inca Empire, Machu Picchu has become one of the top destinations for tourists who want to explore the great “Lost City”. With a three-mile cable car, tourism exploded. The tramway was created to ease the burden of traveling to Machu Picchu, but also limits the amount of visitors Machu Picchu can receive daily. Thanks to this, anyone willing to travel to the “Lost City” will have to make a reservation. Outside of that, erosion and landslides could affect the structures unless authorities take precautionary measures. Until then, a journey to the ancient city will offer stunning mountain landscapes.
© Roberto De la Parra
8. The Congo Basin
Expanding across seven nations, the Congo Basin is home to several unique plants and wildlife that could be lost in less than 20 years. Unless more effective measures are taken to protect it, the 10-million acres of forest are degrading each year due to illegal logging and mining. Being the world’s 2nd largest rainforest, the Congo Basin is the perfect getaway for any nature lover.
© Corinne Staley
9. Mt. Kilimanjaro
Few spots in the world are as picturesque as Mt. Kilimanjaro. As beautiful as the great mountain is, 85 percent of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s ice has melted away over the last century. Scientists have confirmed the snow will be depleted in about 20 years so be sure to visit the great peak. To truly enjoy the experience, register for the chance to climb to see the peak itself.
10. Madagascar’s Rainforest
Originally, Madagascar’s rainforest ran over 120,000-square miles. Now that number has dropped to 20,000. The forests have been eroded by human activities like deforestation like logging and wood burning. About 75 percent of the rainforest’s population, including the flat-tailed geckos and comet moths, are only populated here on the coasts of Africa. Many more species have yet to be recorded, so it is feared that these species will be lost to the world before they can even be discovered. Travel to the majestic rainforests of Madagascar for a unique experience unlike any other.
© Frank Vassen
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Cover photo © Kosala Bandara