Six Destinations in Danger of Disappearing
Not everything in the world will be around forever. Due to climate changes, the rapidly melting polar ice caps, exposure to the elements, and the encroachment of civilization, some of the best sights in the world may disappear sometime in the near future. If any of these places are on your vacation bucket list, go see them as soon as possible.
The town of Pompeii was famously leveled by a volcano back in 79 A.D, and unearthed in the 18th century. It is now a tourist attraction, drawing in around 2 million visitors a year. But it may not be around forever – exposure to the elements, as well as earthquake activity and a lack of proper oversight and conservation have led to less than ideal conditions. Parts of the ancient city have crumbled in recent years, and the Italian government has started limiting the number of tourists that are allowed to wander Pompeii.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most unique things in the world. The coral reef stretches for around 1,400 miles off of the coast of Australia, and can even be seen from outer space. However, climate change and air pollution have affected the health of the reef and the many sea creatures that live in and around it. The coral has become bleached – a sign of ill health, as coral is a living organism – and over half of it has disappeared in the last 30 years.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is located in the Middle East, surrounded by Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. It’s a large salt lake that boasts of being both the saltiest body of water and at the lowest elevation on the planet. In all, the lake has a surface area of 230 square miles, and it is over 900 feet deep. The Dead Sea is not only beautiful and unique, but also an historic destination. However, chemical companies have been extracting minerals from the Dead Sea for decades. When combined with environmental changes and the diversion of water flowing into the sea, the water levels and overall size of it has changed drastically.
The Maldives are an island chain located in the Indian Ocean. They are known for their white sand beaches, clear blue water, and luxury resorts. There are roughly 185 islands in the Maldives, spread out over 35,000 square miles, making them a great place to go for a peaceful, quiet vacation. However, most of the islands are only between 4 and 7 feet above sea level. If the water levels continue to rise due to global warming, the Maldives will quickly vanish underwater.
Borneo is a beautiful island in the South China Sea that technically belongs to three different countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. Political unrest in and between these countries has left the island on shaky ground in the past. This, combined with new environmental concerns, including deforestation and disappearing native species, means that unless something happens soon, the Borneo that we know may soon vanish without a trace.
The city of Venice is known for being a romantic destination, as well as one of best places to honeymoon. Unfortunately, the structures are built on unstable foundations – they are on limestone slabs placed on wooden piles that are submerged into the sand and clay of the dredged up islands below. Although this allowed for the city to essentially be built on water, producing the canals that it is known for, each structure is threatened by flooding, and the weight of the buildings (made of stone or brick) are causing them to slowly sink.