Our planet holds immeasurable beauty in its ancient natural wonders, and its more recent, historic man-made marvels. However, these magnificent places, which have attracted tourists for centuries, are under threat from the undeniable consequences our actions have on our environment. Due to climate change and human carelessness, some destinations are unfortunately already in danger of completely disappearing. Place these amazing tourist destinations at the top of your travel list, and visit them as soon as possible. If you wait too long, it might be too late, and these sensational destinations might disappear forever!
Great Barrier Reef
Unrivaled by its sheer size, beauty and biodiversity, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest natural coral reef system. However, the massive impact of climate change and environmental pollution is having a catastrophic effect on this oceanic wonder. So much so that around 90% of the reef is experiencing some level of bleaching, while it is estimated that a quarter of coral has already been wiped out. According to scientists, if the rise in global temperatures continues, the Great Barrier Reef could become extinct, including many of its marine life.
Hailed as the love nest for couples worldwide, the Queen of the Adriatic has for centuries now serenaded tourists with its romantic canals, charming streets and dreamy gondola rides. However, due to industrial excavations during the previous century and the rise in global sea levels, Venice is slowly sinking. Increasing floods, and the erosion of its natural barriers, means that, by century’s end, scientists predict half of Venice will become submerged, making it almost entirely uninhabitable.
The Seychelles is an archipelago of about 115 islands and home to a community of nearly 90,000 inhabitants who have, in recent decades, thrived on the large influx of tourists. The success of its appeal to tourists lies mainly in its tropical beaches, which are in danger of beach erosion. Seychelles’ coral has already succumbed to global warming, and with its demise, removed the islands’ only natural barrier. Now, the rising levels of the Indian Ocean are threatening the entire ecosystem, and could submerge the archipelago within the next 100 years.
Great Wall of China
Built over a period of 15 centuries to defend China’s northern border from invading nomadic tribes, the Great Wall is under attack of tourism and erosion. The only man-made marvel visible from space attracts tourists from all over the world who flock to see this feat of engineering. Unfortunately, tourists have also damaged the wall by chipping away at bricks, and spraying sections of the wall with graffiti. Over-farming which contributes to wind and soil erosion is yet another threat to the wall, resulting in the destruction of almost one third of this fortification.
Spanning over nine countries, the largest forest on Earth is an essential part of any travelers visit to South America. The “Lungs of the Planet” are also responsible for producing over 20% of the world’s oxygen supply, and are home to the largest and most diverse selection of flora and fauna on land. Despite its global importance, the Amazon Jungle is dwindling due to excessive deforestation agricultural purposes. Moreover, the Amazon River is being heavily polluted through waste-dumps, which means the forest cannot regrow fast enough to counter the human threat.
In the end, the effect we have on our planet is undeniable, and will eventually cause the destruction of these incredibly beautiful destinations that have attracted us for years, decades, and centuries. We are still able to visit these famous sites, but it is unlikely that our grandchildren will be so lucky to see these wonders with their own eyes.