Our planet has some amazing tourist destinations. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Some of the Earth’s most majestic places are on the verge of disappearing forever, thanks to the rising population, pollution, and climate change. Here’s the list of eight incredible places that could vanish in the next few decades. So, explore them while you still can.
1- The Maldives
This tropical island nation is the lowest-lying country in the world. Its average elevation is just five feet above the sea level, and 80% of the Maldives’ land is 3.3-feet above the sea level. If the sea levels continue to rise at the same pace, this group of 1,200 islands could be submerged in less than 100 years. While a tourist may still be in love with the tiny nation, the Maldivian government is buying land in other countries to relocate its citizens.
2- The Great Barrier Reef
It is the largest coral reef in the world, covering an area of 133,000 square miles. The Great Barrier Reef is the only living thing that you can see from the outer space. However, climate change, water pollution, and rising sea levels have been eroding it for years. Scientists predict that the reef could witness an irreparable change in less than two decades if drastic measures are not taken to preserve it.
This romantic Italian city is known for its waterways. But Venice is increasingly facing severe floods every year. It has sunk by nine inches in the last 100 years, and climate change could further fuel the rising sea levels. Researchers estimate that it is sinking five times faster than previously thought. Venice could become unhabitable within 70 years.
Seychelles is the ultimate tropical paradise. It is a group of about 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. But, just like Maldives, this tourist hotspot is also in danger of submersion. The country has already seen a devastating coral die-off. Now beach erosion and global warming could make it unhabitable in 50 to 100 years.
5- Glacier National Park, Montana
It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, attracting 2.3 million people a year. But Montana’s national park that once had 150 glaciers has now been reduced to just 25 glaciers. Scientists estimate that the national park could lose all its glaciers by 2030 due to global warming.
6- The Dead Sea
The ancient Dead Sea is on the verge of extinction. The level of salt water in the lake is falling by one meter every year. The Dead Sea has shrunk by more than 33% in the last 40 years. River Jordan is the only source of water for the Sea. Neighboring countries are drawing water from the River Jordan at a rapid pace. As a result, the Dead Sea could vanish in as little as 50 years.
7- The Alps
The European Alps are one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. But the Alpine glaciers are highly susceptible to global warming. The Alps are losing 3% of glacier ice every year. Experts believe that the glaciers could completely disappear in less than 40 years.
8- Taj Mahal
This world famous monument was build more than 350 years ago. Taj Mahal attracts as many as 4 million tourists from across the globe every year. However, growth in industry and population pose a serious threat to the exterior of the building. The monument is not going to vanish. But it may be closed to the public in a few years. All the previous attempts to stop the damage have failed, and experts are now demanding its closure to the public. So, see this tourist hotspot up close while you still can.