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25 Places Everyone Should Visit Before They're Gone Forever

Wanderlust August 23, 2017 By Vincent

The world is a glorious place full of wonderfully diverse people and amazing and unique places. Sadly, due to climate change, political unrest or just general inaction some of these wonders of the world are disappearing and rapidly so.

Here we take a look at some that could be completely gone sooner rather than later and why you should visit them asap.

1. The Seychelles

A popular honeymoon destination, this island paradise in the Indian Ocean lies just off the coast of Madagascar and is considered one of the premier destinations for those looking for sun and sand.

Tobias Nilsson/Shutterstock.com

However, desperately under threat from rising sea levels, its biggest threat comes from beach erosion as the stunning white sands are getting washed away at a phenomenal rate that could see them disappear within the next 50 to 100 years.

2. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

A dormant volcano in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is famed for being the highest mountain in Africa and for its glorious snow-capped peak that produces a cartoonishly perfect image of a mountain. However, due to global warming, that ice cap may not be there for much longer.

Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock.com

Between the years of 1912 and 2007, Kilimanjaro's ice sheet shrank by a whopping 85% meaning it may be gone sooner than you think.

3. The Mirador Basin and Tikal National Park, Guatemala

Ruins of the ancient and mysterious Mayan civilization lie deep within the Mirador Basin, a society that scientists and historians still no little about and yet one that shaped the very face of Central America. On top of this, the Tikal National Park within the basin contains many stunning and unique flora and fauna.

Diego Grandi/Shutterstock.com

However, looting of these ruins and illegal forest fires and logging are causing havoc in the area and may see it crumble into disrepair further with both human history and animal life in severe peril.

4. The Sundarbans, India and Bangladesh

The largest area of mangrove forest in the worlds, the Sundarbans sit in the Ganges Delta and take up 400 miles of land and water which see tigers, crocodiles and other endangered species call it home, and it is under pressure from several factors.

Rudra Narayan Mitra/Shutterstock.com

As a heavy reliance on fossil fuels in the region causes rising sea levels, the water level continues to encroach upon the land there whilst deforestation only exacerbates the issue along with coastal erosion.

5. Patagonia's Glaciers, Argentina

The mountainous region of Patagonia covers parts of Argentina and Chile but head into the Argentinian peaks, and you can see some of the most stunning glaciers on the planet. 

saiko3p/Shutterstock.com

However, less rainfall and rising temperatures in the region means that dramatic shrinkage has started to take place and that these glaciers are no longer as mighty as they once were.

6. Zahara De Sierra, Spain

Another mountainous region that is suffering from higher temperatures and decreasing rainfall but this time on a completely different continent.  A province of Cádiz nestled in the mountains of Andalusia in southern Spain, Zahar De La Sierra has unique wildlife including endangered breeds of butterflies.

Benny Marty/Shutterstock.com

The greenery in the area is dying out through lack of water, and this is affecting the wildlife too.

7. The Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA

North Carolina's Outer Banks are eroding at an alarming rate, and these beach dunes are a stunning coastal vacation spot that sees many rent beach house nearby.

IndigoSurf Photography/Shutterstock.com

But it is not just the banks themselves at risk but historic sites like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse which dates back to 1870.

8. The Forests of Madagascar

The native habitat of the ring-tailed lemur, Madagascar has such strikingly unique wildlife because of its separation from the rest of the African continent millions of years ago, and yet now that is all under threat.

Damian Ryszawy/Shutterstock.com

The forests of Madagascar are under such great threat that they may well completely be gone within the next 35 years taking the wildlife with it.

9. Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

Another case of glaciers suffering from increasing temperatures, it is increasingly evident in the Glacier National Park in Montana as the number of glaciers there has fallen from around 150 to just 25!

Sean Xu/Shutterstock.com

Within 15 years there could none left here leaving the park just as a namesake of what was once there.

10. Venice, Italy

The city of Venice is built on stilts so that its canal flow freely through the streets and gondolas and boats are as common a sight as cars in other cities. However, Venice has been sinking for a number of years with no signs of this particularly slowing down.

DiamondDallas/Shutterstock.com

The increase of the severity of floods in recent years has only contributed to this and more building is adding weight onto the disappearing city so it may be best to book your gondola ride soon.

11. Macchu Picchu, Peru

The ruins of the mountain-top city of the ancient Incan Empire attract millions of visitors each year with many trekking along the Inca trail into the city whilst others get transport up the mountain. The problem with this is that the numbers far exceed the limit of 2,500 visitors per day that was originally set by UNESCO and Peru.

Combine this wearing down of the monument with natural landslides and erosion, could cause the ruins to collapse unless more regulations are put in place.

12. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The unique native species of the Galapagos islands arose due to its relative isolation fro the rest of South America, and so tourists have flocked to see it in all its majesty.

Jess Kraft/Shutterstock.com

However, too many of them combined with the fact non-native species have now found their way to the island and threatened those not adapted to dealing with outside influences is now what may cause the disappearance of them entirely.

13. The Congo Basin, Africa

The world's second largest rainforest has an incredible amount of biodiversity within it that includes over 10,000 plant species, 1,000 bird species, and 400 mammal species alone and yet it may lose two-thirds of this by 2040.

i Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com

The reasons why are various but climate change, logging (both legal and illegal), political unrest, wood burning and other factors are all to blame.

14. The Dead Sea

A salt lake that borders Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, the Dead Sea is famed for its ability to keep you afloat through its high levels of salt. However, it may be able to keep you afloat and yet it cannot keep itself from the brink of destruction.

Olesya Baron/Shutterstock.com

The lake draws its water solely from the River Jordan but in such an arid region, water is a precious commodity and surrounding countries continue to draw from it in greater and greater numbers. As such, in the next 50 years, the sea could be gone.

15. The Florida Everglades, USA

The swamps of Florida, the Everglades are a National Park that are severely under threat from growing population in the area and increasing housing developments encroaching on them. 

Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock.com

Too much water and newer species are also a threat to the native wildlife, and this has all contributed to making it the most under-threat national park in the country.

16. The Alps, Europe

The mountain range that spans across Europe, the Alps have long been a haven for winter sports enthusiasts and hikers, but climate change is meaning that every year, the European mountain range loses around 3% of glacial ice.

Being at a lower altitude than many other mountain ranges (such as the Rockies) means that the Alps are more susceptible to this change and could be completely lacking in any glaciers by 2050.

17. Tuvalu

A tiny Polynesian nation made up of nine islands, Tuvalu sits between Hawaii and Australia, but they only rise about 15 feet out of the water.

mbrand85/Shutterstock.com

As such rising sea levels linked to global warming could see a whole country disappear in a matter of years.

18. The Taj Mahal, India

One of the most iconic and instantly recognizable buildings in the world, the mausoleum commissioned by a Mughal Emperor could well not be long for this world.

YURY TARANIK/Shutterstock.com

Heavy air pollution is taking its toll on the ancient building whilst erosion is pushing it toward the brink of collapse.

19. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The world's largest barrier reef, it has decreased in size by half over the past 30 years, largely due to rising temperatures. Coral bleaching has also occurred due to acid pollution as increased shipping and mining in the area has added to its woes.

ProDesign studio/Shutterstock.com

With the situation at a critical point, the reef could be gone completely by 2030.

20. The Pyramids, Egypt

With the encroaching city on their doorstep, pollution around the Pyramids has caused concern amongst historians as they and The Great Sphinx suffer erosion and damage to the plates they sit on.

Gordana Adzieva/Shutterstock.com

This means that they could well completely collapse and be lost to the ages.

21. The Amazon, Brazil, Peru, Colombia

The world's largest rainforest is often referred to as 'the lungs of the Earth' due to the sheer amount of carbon dioxide they take in and oxygen it outputs in its place. At 2.1 million square miles, it is home to the most diverse range of animals anywhere, but logging and pollution are running riot in the region.

Its biggest threat though is simply increased agriculture where more and more forest is being cleared for livestock grazing.

22. The Great Wall of China

The largest man-made structure on Earth is over 2,000 years old and has survived Mongol hordes and revolution and yet it may be damaged beyond repair within the next 20 years due to pollution.

aphotostory/Shutterstock.com

Overfarming nearby has not done the structure any good either as nearly two-thirds of the wall has been damaged or destroyed.

23. The Maldives

Another island nation in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives have long been troubled by rising sea levels with government cabinet meetings even being held underwater to highlight the issue.

Jag_cz/Shutterstock.com

Scientists predict that within 100 years, it will be completely submerged. 

24. Mosques of Timbuktu, Mali

These ancient Mosques are made predominantly of mud and are protected by UNESCO world heritage status due to their age and religious and cultural importance.

DemarK/Shutterstock.com

However, there is little UNESCO can do to protect against the changing climate in the region as both temperatures and rainfall rise, eroding and washing away the mosques that date back to the 14th-16th centuries.

25. Big Sur, California, USA

A coastal region that is known as a great place for wildlife as whale watching is increasingly popular there. However, droughts and wildfires have taken their toll.

Allard One/Shutterstock.com

Fewer sightings of the massive mammals have been seen each year and eventually, they may never come back.

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