There are so many gorgeous places around the world that are worthy of the top spot on your traveling bucket list. But, there are a few locales, in particular, that should take priority due to their threatened status. Chances are good that these 10 places won’t remain spectacular for much longer. If any of the destinations on our list are also on your list, you better get moving on your plans to visit before they disappear forever!
1. Dead Sea, Jordan
This beautiful sea, located amidst the vast desert, is truly a sight to behold, but if you want to see it, you ought to book a trip soon. Experts don’t foresee the Dead Sea lasting more than the next 50 years, unfortunately. In just the past 40 years, over a third of the Dead Sea has disappeared after sinking over 80 feet. The Dead Sea gets its water from the River Jordan, which countries all around the sea are depleting, leaving the Dead Sea to dry out in the desert sun.
2. Venice, Italy
This breathtaking city built on the water has been slowly sinking for years. Severe flooding in the area has contributed to the accelerated sinking of this marvelous city and it doesn’t look like it’ll be stopping anytime soon. Enjoy your last gondola rides because experts warn that the famous floating city may be uninhabitable within the next 25 years.
3. Grand Canyon, Arizona
This world wonder was carved out over millions of years, but it’s only taken humans a few hundred to destroy a marvel of Mother Nature. The National Trust for Historic Preservation even named it as one of the 11 most endangered historical sites in 2015 thanks to increased development in the area (everything from resorts to mining operations.) As indestructible as this geological formation may seem, the Grand Canyon may not make it as a tourist destination for much longer.
4. The City of Petra
This stunning city that manages to be a remarkable half architectural/half archeological masterpiece is slowly fading away due to damage from the elements like wind, rain, and saltwater in the area. Humans are also taking a toll on the city’s detailed carvings. The oils from our skin cause the rock to break down, so in a few more decades worth of tourism, the beautifully carved rock faces will have almost no detail left and be no more enthralling than the nearby rock formations.
5. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most vibrant places on the planet and houses the largest coral reef in the world. But this UNESCO World Heritage site is facing some serious threats. The unique coral of the Reef is slowly becoming bleached white due to pollution, climate change, and human interference. Experts urge all swimmers to forgo sunscreen due to the chemicals breaking down the fragile coral and it won’t be much longer before experts ban humans from entering the reef altogether.
6. Great Wall of China
Standing as the largest man-made structure in the world, the Great Wall of China is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. Despite the fact that the wall has been standing for over 2,000 years, over two-thirds of it have been damaged or pilfered in exchange for money. Travel to China soon if you want to see this architectural feat in person and not just in pictures and textbooks.
7. Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park used to live up to its name with over 150 glaciers. But, due to the effects of climate change, only 25 remain. Experts warn that Glacier National Park may be a misnomer in as little as 15 years when the last of the glaciers melt into the Earth.
8. Florida Everglades
The Everglades is one of Florida’s greatest natural attractions, which is why it may soon be no more. Thanks to all of the pollution visitors contribute to the wetlands as well as the introduction of non-native species and an influx of water, the Everglades are slowly deteriorating.
9. Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
The rainforest in Brazil’s Amazon is the largest in the world at a whopping 2.1 million square miles and it is the home to one of the most diverse ecosystems, as well. If you’ve ever dreamed of listening to the monkeys howling while paddling down the Amazon River, book your trip soon. Unfortunately, encroaching development and deforestation is threatening this lush landscape and all of its varied inhabitants with extinction.
10. Big Sur, California
This coastal area of California is well known for its amazing whale-watching opportunities and its quintessential road-trip views of the ocean. If you’re planning a road trip that includes this iconic stretch of the US, do it soon. Sadly, a number of natural disasters such as landslides, droughts, and wildfires are robbing Big Sur of its prior splendor and creating less frequent sightings of its famous whale population.