Top 10 AMAZING Places That Will DISAPPEAR In Your Lifetime
We take for granted finer locations in our world, forgetting to stop and consider how temporary they may be. Through natural erosion and man’s influence, many notable cities, landmarks, and natural formations are on the verge of vanishing entirely. From the western world to the far east, these are the top ten places that will disappear in your lifetime.
Despite periods of slowed deforestation of the Amazon rainforest during the 90’s and early 2000s, humans are back at it again, mimicking the peak levels that were reported in the 1980s. In August and September of 2014, land clearance increased at a rate of 190% as farmers and loggers found means of exploiting loopholes in protective regulations. Currently, only 40% of the rainforest is protected and as more of it is harvested and cleared, ecosystems across the globe are affected. Researchers at Princeton University determined in 2013 that as more of the forest is destroyed, the west coast of the United States may suffer from extended and more serious droughts.
Taj Mahal, India
Over 364 years ago, India’s most attractive structure was erected. Today, after being visited by millions upon millions of tourists, the Taj Mahal faces an immediate demise. According to a group of campaigners, the foundation the ornate structure sits on has become so brittle and weak that the entire structure could collapse within five years. Allegedly, the drying of the Yamuna River, caused by overuse and overpopulation, has caused the wood to rot. Concerns have grown louder after cracks appeared in the tomb and the minarets surrounding the temple began to tilt.
Great Wall of China
Starting off as a 13,171-mile or 21,196-kilometer long wall that stretched from Hushan to Jiayuguan Pass, over the years mankind has dwindled it down by almost 30% - mainly from citizens stealing the bricks to make houses and damage caused by nature. Paupers in the region also steal pieces of the wall to sell engraved slabs to tourists, while tourists themselves will also chip off their own souvenirs. According to Great Wall of China Society Vice-president Dong Yaohui, many of the wall’s towers have become so unstable that a heavy rain storm could tear them down.
An icon of Australia and natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef may be no more by 2030. University of Queensland reef researcher Ove Hoegh-Guldberg has attested that increased carbon dioxide output and overall higher global temperatures have been slowly killing the reef for upwards of thousands of years. Labeled one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet, the Great Barrier Reef teeters on the edge of UNESCO’s “in-danger” stamp and, in 2015, Australian officials were given five years to rectify current deterioration levels before being placed on the World Heritage in Danger list.
Congo Basin, Africa
Within 50 years, deforestation, road development, and mineral mining could lead to the destruction of two-thirds of the Congo River Basin. According to the World Wildlife Federation, the river basin loses an estimated 3.7 million acres a year and while it’s currently the second largest rainforest in the world, it’s unlikely that it will remain that way. Home to over 11,000 different mammals, avian, and plant species, the basin is vital to the local ecology, but at a vanishing rate of 5% per decade and with continued poaching still a threat, the future of the Congo is looking grim.
Sometime during the 12th century, the temple complex of Angkor Wat was constructed by the Khmer Empire in favor of the Hindu god, Vishnu. Much like the civilization responsible for the large structure, Angkor Wat is soon to be lost to time. Threatening the existence of the ancient structure is its popularity as a tourist site and related commercialization of the region surrounding it. According to restoration experts, as nearby hotels tap into water supplies, they increasingly threaten the stability of the already fragile foundation Angkor Wat sits on. While continued tourism benefits the surrounding area, the increased foot traffic is slowly chipping away at the brittle temple.
Before we know it, beautiful, tropical island paradises will be a thing of the past. Part of a group of 115 individual islands, Seychelles, often referred to as the Garden of Eden, is slowly sinking into the Indian Ocean. Climate change has led to a diminished coral reef, which serves as a natural barrier against the island’s erosion. Estimates have given the island about 50 years before natural erosion and rising sea levels completely overtake it, displacing some 85,000 people that call Seychelles home.
The Alps Glacial Ice
If conditions remain constant, climate experts estimate that between 2030 and 2050, Alpine glacial ice will disappear completely. At an average loss rate of 3%, or 3.3-feet or roughly 1-meter of ice per year, the complete loss of glacial ice in the region would lead to changes in drinking and irrigation water supplies and have a great impact on Europe’s money-making ski industry. Without the ice compacting the mountainous rock beneath, experts also fear that cases of dangerous falling rock would be on the rise, making the region even more treacherous than it already is. Though the mountainous terrain will remain, they will be a shadow of their former selves.
The icy paradise of the Alaskan Tundra has been under constant threat of climate change and, if the rate remains constant, its permafrost is likely to all but vanish within the next century. Once frigid and barren landscapes, home to polar bears and other cold-weather creatures, have given way to the long stretches of greenery and trees. Over the past 17 years, temperatures have been increasing and some estimates believe the average temperature will permanently increase 13°F within the next century. Ironically, as temperatures increase, pathogens and insects that attack local plant life can move in and attack the new greenery.
The chronicled perils of Detroit, Michigan, birthplace of Motown and the rise of Eminem and Kidrock, have shown just how quick the mighty can fall. Once known as the “Paris of the Midwest” for its stunning architecture and a leader in the automotive industry, Motor City is a shell of its former self. Prior to filing bankruptcy in 2013, which became the largest municipal filing in U.S. history, then-Mayor Dave Bing devised a plan to bulldoze 10,000 homes to shift focus and investments into “better” areas of the city. Today, it’s one of most dangerous cities – if not the most dangerous city - in the United States and continues to get absorbed by nature and misfortune. From the decaying of the once roaring Silverdome, to the blight that surrounds the city, there seems to be little hope of recovery for the once booming city.