Almost everyone had a bucket list of places and wonders that they want to visit before they die. As much as you might think you have years to tick off each box on the list, it turns out that many of the most famous historical landmarks are actually dying by themselves.
Whether it is global warming that is causing erosion or damage, or man made pollution which is harming these places and their beauty, time is ticking and here are the scary reasons why.
The Great Wall of China is eroding
A true wonder and landmark of China, the Great Wall has been around since the 7th century and took years to construct in order to protect the country from raids and invaders. At 12,437 miles long, it is the longest monument in the world and can even be seen from space.
The wall is endangered as there isn’t a solid way to protect it from natural disasters and erosion. Along with natural causes, the millions of people who visit it each year cause even more erosion.
The Dead Sea is evaporating
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth at 1,380 feet below sea level. It is the saltiest body of water in the world that absolutely no living thing survives in it.
The Middle Eastern heat can reach soaring temperatures in the summer, meaning what is left of the water in the Dead Sea is evaporating. It is dropping at a rate of over three feet per year and it is set to lose a third of its mass before it can reach equilibrium.
Antarctica’s polar ice caps are melting
With the rate of climate change increasingly rapidly each year, Antarctica’s ice caps are slowly melting away, not just harming the climate, but causing detrimental effect to the animals including emperor penguins, seals and polar bears, and their habitats.
The ice caps provide 90 per cent of the planet’s freshwater and the rising temperatures are causing the glaciers to melt. The excess water that comes from the glaciers can cause flooding on surrounding islands.
The Taj Mahal could collapse
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is truly an exquisite piece of architecture. The mausoleum was built in 1653 and is a sacred part of India’s history.
Despite lasting all these years, the amount of tourists visiting per year is having a negative effect on the building. To try and reverse some of the damage, the Taj is closed on certain days and restoration has already started to preserve the original construction as much as possible.
The Great Pyramids of Giza may not last as long as expected
The Great Pyramids of Giza are one of the last remaining constructions from Ancient Egypt and one of the world wonders. Built between 2550 to 2490 B.C with a workforce of over 100,000 men, there is so much mystery surrounding how the Egyptians built the Pyramids and how they have lasted so long.
However, due to natural disasters and weathering, the pyramids have been worn down and the Egyptian government are making plans to restore the pyramids and prevent damage.
Route 66 needs a fund to keep it running
Route 66 is one of the most famous roads in America, going from Santa Monica in California, all the way to Chicago. It was established in 1926 and used as a main road to get from coast to coast.
The route is not protected and with infrastructure increasing everywhere, developers are using the landmark to create new buildings in close proximity. The road on the highway is deteriorating from natural disaster and general wear and tear.
Venice is sinking
Venice is one of the most beautiful and unique cities in the world, built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. Venice has no roads and only boats on the canals can be used to get around.
Venice is a place of wonder and its renaissance architecture along with gorgeous squares and local cafes make it one of the best Italian cities. Unfortunately, climate change is increasing sea levels and brings dangerous floods which erodes the buildings. Mass tourism is causing devastating effects on the marsh Venice sits on.
The Grand Canyon could be destroyed
Arizona has many wonders, but its natural and best monument the Grand Canyon draws in millions of tourists each year, partaking in activities and admiring the beautiful rock. The colors are rich and the rocks are beautifully carved out by nature.
However, with mining taking place near to the historical site, the canyon is on the receiving end of it and it is being worn down. The mass tourism is also having an effect on the rock with more and more hiking trails being created each year.
85% Of Mount Kilimanjaro’s Ice Has Already Melted
Mount Kilimanjaro is the fourth tallest mountain in the world and the tallest peak in Africa. Standing at 20,000 feet tall, people have been traveling to see it in its full glory since the 1800s with only the brave tackling its terrain.
However, according to scientists, the snow-covered volcano will not be around forever as its ice sheet has already shrunk 85 per cent. With the shocking rise of global warming, the glaciers of Kilimanjaro have become endangered.
The Great Barrier Reef is dying
A few years ago, The Great Barrier Reef was a thriving habitat with vibrant colors and living coral, a very different story today. The Australian reef is home to thousands of marine life and global warming, overfishing and ship pollution is threatening their survival.
Conservationists are desperately working to turn back time and protect the reef and preserve what is left of the coral. Relief efforts are one of the main reasons why certain habitats have been able to survive this terrible damage. As one of the true wonders, it needs to be rescued.
Big Sur is seeing major damage from tourism
Big Sur is one of the most gorgeous little towns on the coast of central California. Known for its wonders, spectacular scenery and long, scenic, untouched coastline, it is a dream place to camp out, hike or just hang out and take in the surroundings.
Unfortunately, due to natural disasters in California including wildfires, landslides and earthquakes, the area is starting to be run down. The addition of thousands of tourists flocking there every year means the land is no longer unspoiled.
Peru has had to control tourist traffic on Machu Picchu
“The Lost City” of Machu Picchu is one of Peru’s most popular tourist destinations and one of the world’s wonders. Sitting atop of the Andes, the 15th century landmark was left abandoned by the Incans and he remains of their home still mostly remains.
Due to their geographic location, the ruins are at major risk of erosion and landslides which could lead to the entire Lost City being gone. Due to preservation from the Peruvian government, tourist traffic traveling up Machu Picchu has been decreased dramatically.
The Amazon Rainforest is suffering from climate change
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, stretching two million miles through countries including Brazil, Colombia and Peru. The Amazon is full of natural wonders and magnificent habitats for all of the thousands of species that live there.
The Amazon is at severe risk of dying due to mining and deforestation. Oil and chemical spills have had devastating effect on the animals and the land that they exist on.
The Stonehenge is a risk of ruin from public transport
Situated in Wilshere, England is one of the earliest monuments, dating back to 3000 B.C. the Stonehenge. While there is so much mystery surrounding the actual use for the monument in ancient times, it is thought to have been used as a burial ground.
Although the Stonehenge is endangered, there is a tunnel project that is being built to reduce traffic in the area. The vibrations from the traffic could cause more erosion for the ancient monument.
Tourism is killing the Galapagos Islands
The Ecuadorian providence was the famous place that Charles Darwin discovered his evolution theory. The Islands are filled with natural wonders and are completely endangered along with the unique species and habitats.
Some of the greatest issues that the Galapagos Islands are facing is the extreme weather, new species cohabiting with the existing and exploding tourism in the area. Coral reefs are disappearing from climate change and global warming and the introduction of tourists on the island is harming the natural habitats.
The White Cliffs of Dover are eroding away
At 350 feet tall, coming into Dover, the White Cliffs are the first thing you see when you come in to the coast. On a clear day, the Cliffs can be seen from across the English Channel on the coast of France.
Due to weathering as a result of climate change, the chalk-like appearance to the Cliffs are vulnerable to erosion and the rock faces are at risk of disappearing in the future.
The Everglades are shrinking
The Everglades National Park in Florida is a huge expanse of swamp land that is home to thousands of alligators and other wildlife. The Everglades started off at 11,000 square miles and now is a mere 2,500 miles.
The Florida area is constantly being built upon for housing and communities, so much of the Everglades have been destroyed as a result of this. While there have been some efforts made to stop the destruction, there is only so much that can be done.
The Swiss Alps are getting too much water
Global warming and climate change are wreaking havoc on earth and another destination that is severely suffering is the Swiss Alps. Due to glacial land mass melting from rising temperatures, more water is forming and less ice and snow on the mountains.
Scientists have predicted that if the melting doesn’t stop, the Alps could be dramatically reduced by 2050. More avalanches have occurred in the winter and frequent and heavy rainstorms in the summer.
Maya Bay has been closed for all tourists
Known for serving as the location for Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2000 movie The Beach, Maya Bay in Thailand has seen a massive influx of tourists throughout the years. The wonders of the turquoise waters in the bay and white sand beach were a prime place to take vacation pictures.
Sadly, the 5000 visitors a day brought destruction and pollution to the beach. The bay’s ecological system needs to recover and last year Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation announced it would be closed to tourists indefinitely.
The Seychelles are disappearing
The Seychelles is known to be a pure paradise and dream honeymoon location. The luscious greenery, crystal clear waters and pristine beaches are a sight to behold. However, people dreaming of going there in years to come won’t have the chance.
The idyllic Indian Ocean destination’s beaches are eroding and threaten to completely disappear within 50 to 100 years. Conservation projects are doing whatever they can to slow down this process and try to prevent this sad reality.
Glacier National Park might have no more glaciers
Located in Montana, Glacier National Park has been a tourist attraction and one of its main wonders for so many years. The stunning glaciers take center stage in the park with beautiful light reflecting off of them and into the deep blue lake.
Sadly, in 15 years there may be no more glaciers left here. Over time, global warming and climate change has had a detrimental effect on the natural wonder and the number of glaciers has decreased to fewer than 25, from 150.
Patagonia’s Glaciers are shrinking from global warming
Argentina has many natural wonders, but each year, thousands of travelers flock to the glaciers in Patagonia. From tricky hikes to scenic views and a great photo op, the glaciers are a truly beautiful and important attraction.
With our planet subjected to so much climate change, there has been less rainfall in the area, along with higher temperatures which are causing terrible effects upon the glaciers. They have already shrunk, but they could be gone in a few decades if the conditions continue.
The Mirador Basin and Tikal National Park could be destroyed
One of Guatemala’s main wonders and an important part of their history is The Mirador Basin and Tikal National Park. Home to the mysterious ruins of the Mayan civilization, tourists have come each year from all over the world to gaze in awe at the careful construction that is shrouded in secrecy.
The biggest threat to the survival of the landmark is illegal looting and forest burning. With this crime at an all time high, the monument may disappear in a matter of years.
The Sundarbans coastline is eroding and threatening wildlife
In the Ganges Delta, the Sundarbans contain around 4,000 miles of water and land. In this land is the largest area of mangrove forests in the world which are home to thousands of different species, including highly endangered species including the tiger and white tiger.
Healthy habitats are crucial for these animals survival but deforestation, pollution and a strong dependence on fossil fuels are causing the sea levels to rise in the area. The habitats and coasts are being eroded as a result and animals are losing their habitats.
Zahara de la Sierra in Spain is losing its trees
Nestled in the gorgeous mountains of Andalusia in southern Spain lies a province of Cádiz, Zahara de la Sierra. The charming Spanish town is surrounded by luscious greenery and many different species of wildlife and their habitats.
But the beautiful nature is under major threat and it is losing trees and animals due to the rise in temperature as a result of global warming. The drop in rainfall has been detrimental in keeping the nature thriving.
The Congo Basin rainforest may be gone in 20 years
The second largest rainforest behind the Amazon is the Congo Basin in Africa. Much like its bigger sister, the rainforest is under huge threat. The forest is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world with over 10,000 plant species, 1,000 bird species and 400 species of mammals.
Deforestation is a huge problem in the area, global warming is destroying habitats and poachers are threatening the species. The UN predicted that two-thirds of the forest may be gone by 2040.
The Mosques of Timbuktu are being destroyed from adverse weather
The mosques of Timbuktu in Mali date back to the 14th to 16th centuries and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Quite incredibly, the construction was mainly built out of mud and it is quite the mystery how they have survived through the centuries without too much damage.
The present day however is about to change all of that and rising temperatures and increased rainfall in the area is posing a serious threat to the survival of the ancient mosque.
The Maldives is being submerged from global warming
The Maldives is one of the most beautiful wonders and countries in the world, made up of 26 atolls and 1200 islands of which only 200 are inhabited. With water villas and five star resorts along with coral reefs and thriving marine life, tourism has boomed in the last few decades.
While it is a completely dream destination for so many, global warming has raised the sea levels and The Maldives could be completely submerged in a matter of years.
The City Of Petra is receding
Petra is known as the lost city. It is a massive archeological site with temples and sculptures built into the red rock faces. The dramatic natural wonders have attracted tourists to flock to the Jordan city from all over the world.
However, with the riding temperatures from climate change, Petra’s red rock is receding due to a mix of natural erosion and saltwater damage. Despite the rocks being protected, there isn’t much that can be done.
Cerro Rico Mountain is at risk of collapsing
The city of Potosi is home to the largest silver mine in the world and a huge attraction of Bolivia. In 1987, it was deemed a World Heritage Site due to its significant impact on the economy and a true landmark of the South American country.
Unfortunately, the site has been exploited and overmined. With the influx of tourists too, the mountain is at risk of collapsing, endangering archaeological studies for the future.
The Athabasca Glacier is melting
Located in the Canadian rockies, the Athabasca Glacier is one of the six principal ‘toes’ of the Columbia Icefield. It is the most visited and easily accessible glacier in the United States but climate change and rising temperatures have seriously harmed the wonder.
It is melting at a rate of about 5 meters per year and has receded more than 1.5 km and lost over half of its volume in the past 125 years. It could be gone in our lifetime if it continues.
The land of the Bears Ears National Monument will be gone soon
While many conservationists are fighting to save the wonders of our environment, governments are destroying them. The current U.S. administration recommended that Bears Ears National Monument be reduced by nearly 90 percent.
This means that the previously untouched land is now open to oil drilling and urbanization, meaning that all habitats and natural features will be destroyed in the process. For the few things we can control, we need to protect.
Bordeaux Vineyards production is dramatically decreasing
Wine enthusiasts will be devastated to hear that the vineyards in Bordeaux are also succumbing to the awful effects of climate change. Due to shifts in temperature and rainfall, the amount of wine yielded in the region is dropping every year.
If the rate increases from what it is now, it is predicted that vintners will have to find new plant new viable vines. Planting new vines elsewhere will be a long and grueling process.
Japan’s Snow Monsters will be gone in a few years
Zao Onsen is a well known hot spring and ski resort in the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture. In the winter, incredible Godzilla-like creatures form every winter in Japan from snow and ice, attracting thousands of visitors to the area.
The sculptures form around trees from the freezing temperatures and substantial snowfall. But with increased temperatures from climate change and global warming, researchers have already reported a steady deterioration of the natural sculptures.
The ruins of Olympia are falling apart
Due to a massive financial crisis in Greece, the ruins of Olympia have not been restored properly and are falling apart. The area of the ruins was a major Panhellenic religious sanctuary of ancient Greece and also the location of the Olympic games.
Despite being a designated archaeological site under protection and one of Greece’s wonders, the surrounding area and developments in construction may have a negative effect upon the ruins which were not meant to withstand vibrations.
The rare species in the Monteverde Cloud Forest are going extinct
Situated in Costa Rica, the Monteverde Cloud Forest is home to diverse species, many of which are endangered. The forest is a stunning habitat but is being threatened due to the riding temperatures.
The plants and animals can’t survive in the heat, and there is much less rainfall, making the soil dry and leaving plants and species dehydrated. Travelers from all over the world come to visit this beautiful piece of nature, but it is deteriorating at quite a rapid pace.
Komodo Island’s reef is dying
Komodo Islands is one of Indonesia’s wonders and is renowned for its incredible watersports and marine life. Diving fanatics from all over the world travel here to experience the stunning reefs and mesmerizing waters.
However, environmentalists have reported that due to growing acidification, and rising temperatures from global warming, the marine life and coral reefs may die in the future. Although the coral here is still unharmed, it will end up succumbing to the same fate of other affected reefs.
The islands of Vieques and Culebra have been ruined
Puerto Ricos best kept secret used to be the wondrous islands of Vieques and Culebra. The islands were home to beautiful beaches and the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay. This was until the United States Navy used the islands as a bombing range and testing ground.
Inevitably, the flora and fauna were badly damaged and instead of allowing them to rejuvenate, when they navy moved out, the tourists started flocking there, making it overpopulated and putting the local ecosystem in danger of disappearing.
Adverse weather is destroying Polynesia and Micronesia
Made up of 4,500 island in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean, Polynesia and Micronesia has been a home to thousands of species, but due to population increase, they have started to go extinct from predators and global warming.
The area is susceptible to all kinds of detrimental weathering and disasters including cyclones, flooding, droughts and wildfires. Although these kind of events can be expected, climate change and global warming have increased the threat.