Global warming, air and water pollution, uncontrolled flow of tourists. There are more and more natural beauty and heritage sites threatened by human activities.
Some of these beautiful places, experts say, are to disappear from the map soon.
Wisdom.ninja has scouted the internet for all the true gems, so you don’t have to. Do expect them to disappear. Visit them as soon as possible!
1. Taj-Mahal, Agra, India
According to some, this beautiful mausoleum will only exist for another five years. The reasons are several: the pollution of the Yamuna River, which passes through the base of the Taj Mahal, has caused the decay of the support beams. Already tourists damage the marble floors and walls of the building. After a request from UNESCO, the famous mausoleum will be closed to visitors.
2. Glaciers of Antarctica
After analyzing NASA satellite images, scientists came to the conclusion that the melting rate of glaciers in Antarctica during the last 10 years, became a catastrophe. Since 2003, the ice sheet is thinner in some regions, almost a whole meter. Instead of ice, today you can see the hills which before were always covered. The situation worsens with the water thaw, which causes erosion and destroys the glaciers faster than the warming itself.
In order to reduce the impact on the environment, Antarctica no longer receives so many more cruises, and the goal is that this type of tourist development is prohibited indefinitely.
3. Rio Yangtzé, China
The construction of hydroelectric Three Gorges Dam (the world’s largest power generation plant, navigation, industrial and agricultural waste and deforestation have caused the destruction of the Yangtze river fauna and flora, the most important of China. The Chinese Sturgeon, and other rare species that inhabit the Yangtze are on the verge of extinction.
Until 2190, the islands and atolls that make up the archipelago of the Maldives will be totally at sea level (today, the highest point in the region has 2.4 meters). Due to the destruction of glaciers, sea level rises, threatening with a full flood of the place. Local authorities are preparing for floods, residents are shopping for land and houses on the mainland (especially in India).
5. Great Barrier Reef
The increased acidity of the water, the large number of tourists, global warming … all these factors lead to the gradual destruction of the Great Barrier Reef in northern Australia. And it gets worse with tropical hurricanes and increased incidence of star-fish, which feed on coral polyps. Between 1985 and 2013, more than half the barrier was gone, and it is possible that, in ten years, only a quarter of it will remain. Researchers do not yet know how to deal with hurricanes and global warming, but are able to carry out a biological control, reducing the population of stars from the seas.
6. the Dead Sea
Since 1970, the water level in the Dead Sea, between Israel and Jordan, has fallen 30 meters. It is the result, first, of mineral extraction in the marine region and the use of 80% of the tributaries that flow into the sea. The sea, then disappears, turning into karst reliefs (resulting from the dissolution of limestone due to water infiltration), which damages the ecosystem of the coastal region. In order to save the Dead Sea, there is a project to connect it to the Red Sea through a canal. However, if the plan is executed, the Dead Sea will lose its appearance as we know it, since the composition of the water would be totally different.
7. Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands, on the coast of Ecuador, are home to 10,000 species of rare animals. It was a visit to the archipelago that inspired the work of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Unfortunately, the large influx of tourists, poachers and cruises that go along the coast of the islands led to the deterioration of the ecosystem, endangering many representatives of fauna and flora.
8. the Everglades Park, USA
This beautiful American natural park is the home where dozens of rare species of animals (and many, many crocodiles) live. It’s getting dryer due to pumping of water, which is taken out of the park, fueling sites and nearby cities.
The marshes that occupy much of the park, are contaminated by polluting waste, deteriorating the ecosystem. Since 1900, the park area was reduced by half, leading to endangered animals such as the Florida Panther (the Everglades is the only natural habitat of this species), turtles and manatees.
9. Rio Angara, Russia
This river, which had very clear waters, may disappear from the earth, and becoming a large deposit of water contaminated with petroleum products, mercury and copper compounds. In some regions, it is not recommended to consume fish caught in these waters. Because of the bad ecological situation in the region, various types of sturgeon (whose eggs give rise to caviar) and other types of fish are endangered.
10. Venezia, Italy
Venice is sinking: the water level is rising 1 mm per year and, in 2100, perhaps the city will be totally gone. A large number of tourists, 60,000 a day, is double what the city previously received, also contributes to the damage caused. Furthermore, cruises and waves caused by them, cause the erosion of foundations of buildings. To save one, which is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the entry of vessels in the central region was prohibited. Another idea is to impose restrictions on the number of tourists. Still, the sea, no matter how Venice copes with tourists and boats, will continue destroying it.
It is sad to think that all these places in a few decades will be seen by our children and grandchildren just by looking at photographs. Saving the planet on a global scale, of course, concerns several organizations, professionals, and authorities, but Wisdom.ninja believes that each of us can always make a contribution to this cause, although it is a small contribution. For example, when visiting a natural or cultural heritage, behave respectfully, without destroying or going beyond the permitted limits. Keep in mind that the future generations will also have the right to admire the beauties of the world.