5 Places to visit before they vamoose!4th July 2013
The world is a minefield of inspiring places both natural and manmade but unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Some of the world’s most iconic landmarks are actually disappearing shockingly quickly. That’s why we’ve compiled just a handful of some of the world’s most famous places which we really think it would be shame for you to miss out on, so take a look at 5 places to visit before they vamoose…
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most incredible examples of the natural world. It’s the largest of its kind on the planet; an underwater coral city and it’s the only living thing visible from space! It’s made up of just shy of 3,000 individual reefs plus many hundreds of islands, spanning a 1,600 mile stretch of the eastern coast of Australia. Even the stats are impressive but they don’t compare to actually seeing the reef and the diverse, incredible marine life which reside there. Unfortunately however, the reef is declining and it is predicted that there is less than 100 years before it disappears altogether as a result of bleaching, water pollution, cyclones and ocean acidification. Reports suggest that it has decreased in size by 50% in the past three decades alone so it is under a real threat. So, if you dream of visiting the Great Barrier Reef one day, I would recommend you do so sooner rather than later!
Golden sands, insanely clear water and romantic resorts; if there is ever a travel photo that is certain to cause a sigh of longing, it’s likely to be one of the Maldives, a chain of 1,192 islands which float in the midst of the Indian Ocean. As the lowest lying country on earth however, the Maldives is under constant threat from rising water levels. Professionals suggest that water levels could rise by as much as 23 inches (60cm) by the year 2099, which would see the number of inhabited islands decrease even further; at the moment, just 17% of the islands are inhabited! If you have the Maldives ear marked as your ‘once in a life time destination’, you better act quickly to ensure you actually get to go before the islands sink.
The Taj Mahal
It’s true; India’s most iconic landmark and the focus of thousands of holiday snaps is on its way out. Tourism officials are considering closing it to the public within the next 5 to 10 years because the sheer number of visitors, approximately 3 to 4 million each year, is having an adverse effect. Couple this with air pollution and you can’t really blame them for wanting to preserve this incredible building before the façade is destroyed completely.
One of the world’s most famous mountains is found in Tanzania but of course it’s not the mountain itself that’s under threat, it’s the glaciers which cover it. The snow-capped peak could soon be a thing of the past as it gradually melts; it’s reported that the ice sheet atop Mount Kilimanjaro was 85% smaller in 2007 than it was in 1912. Whilst scaling mountains is more a hobby reserved for hiking enthusiasts, if you have aspirations to accomplish Kilimanjaro I think you should start training now.
Venice is unarguably one of the most romantic cities in the world; a city built on the water, with canals instead of roads was always going to result in some manner of trouble. Unfortunately, the land is sinking and the sea is rising which results in bad news for Venice; it could one day become a genuine version of the Lost City of Atlantis. At the very least, it is predicted that the city may be completely uninhabitable by the year 2100 as the cities buildings sink by two millimetres each year and Venice experiences more and more flooding. As a result, I think you’d be best to prioritise a trip here if you want to see the city. Just remember to pack your welly boots!
These are just some of the world’s most stunning places which are under threat. Sadly there are several more so I suggest you catch these beauties while you can, before it’s too late!
Have you visited any of these destinations before? Do you have any tips for responsible tourism?
NB: There are so many beautiful places around the world but as you can see, tourism can be damaging so in a bid to preserve our planet for future generations remember to be responsible when you set about sightseeing and at the very least always take all of your rubbish away with you!