29 places you should visit before they disappear forever

India has plenty of coastal towns, but did you know the country also governs a tropical island group of more than 600 islands in the Bay of Bengal? While some of the more developed islands have luxury amenities, others are more peaceful and remote, perfect for relaxing or camping. Andaman and Nicobar is home to the only active volcano in India, miles of beachfront perfect for watersports and snorkeling, and plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities both in the wild and at nature reserves.
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Slide 1 of 30: 
 Thanks to climate change and terrible humans, many beautiful
 natural sites around the world are in danger of disappearing
 forever. 
 The Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, is slowly
 sinking because of climate change. 
 The Taj Mahal is one of the most iconic buildings in the
 world, but some experts worry that the site could collapse
 because of erosion and pollution. 
 Earth is home to incredibly beautiful
 natural sites.
 But because of climate change and human carelessness, some of
 them are in danger of disappearing in the next 100 years - or
 even sooner.
 From Patagonia's glaciers to Africa's Congo Basin, these
 threatened natural wonders and man-made historic sites span the
 globe.
 Keep scrolling to see
 where you should visit sooner rather than later.
 Talia Avakian contributed
 to an earlier version of this article.
Slide 2 of 30: 
 Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant
 Conservation (DNP) announced that its famous Maya Bay will be
 indefinitely closed to tourists.
 Known for its clear turquoise waters, white sand, and lush,
 towering cliffs, the bay served as a filming location for the
 2000 movie, "The Beach," starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
 Since the film's release, Maya Bay has seen a massive influx of
 tourism - often up to 5,000 visitors a day, DNP director Songtam
 Suksawang said. According to Suksawang, this unending wave of
 travelers has "seriously damaged" the bay's
 ecological system, which will now need time to recover, The
 Guardian reported.
Slide 3 of 30: 
 The Belize Barrier Reef System was added to the UNESCO List of
 World Heritage in Danger in 2009. It's the
 largest
 barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, according to
 UNESCO.
Slide 4 of 30: 
 The shores of North Carolina's Outer Banks are eroding the land
 they border, putting landmarks such as the Cape Hatteras
 Lighthouse - which dates back to 1870 - in danger.
 Source: 
 Business Insider
Slide 5 of 30: 
 The picturesque snow that tops Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania may
 not be there much longer. Between the years of 1912 and 2007,
 Kilimanjaro's ice sheet already shrunk by a whopping 85%.
 Source:
 CNN
Slide 6 of 30: 
 A popular destination for honeymooners or paradise-seekers, the
 islands of the Seychelles - located in the Indian Ocean off the
 coast of Madagascar - are vanishing because of beach erosion.
 They're in danger of completely disappearing in the next 50 to
 100 years.
 Source:Time
Slide 7 of 30: 
 The number of glaciers in Montana's Glacier National Park has
 decreased to fewer than 25 from 150. In 15 years there may be
 none left.
 Source:Time
Slide 8 of 30: 
 The Mirador Basin and Tikal National Park in Guatemala are home
 to the mysterious ruins of Mayan civilization. Illegal looting
 and forest burning, however, may destroy this piece of history.
 Source: UNESCO
Slide 9 of 30: 
 The Sundarbans contain close to 4,000 miles of water and land in
 the Ganges Delta. They're home to the largest area of mangrove
 forests in the world. These forests provide a refuge for a number
 of endangered species, like tigers. Deforestation, pollution, and
 a strong dependence on fossil fuels are causing sea levels to
 rise rapidly in the area, which has led to the erosion of
 precious coastline.
 Source UNESCO,
 Global Citizen
Slide 10 of 30: 
 Patagonia's glaciers make for one of the most beautiful tourist
 attractions in the world, but less rainfall and higher
 temperatures are causing these wonders to shrink.
 Source: 
 Travel Channel
Slide 11 of 30: 
 A province of Cádiz nestled in the mountains of Andalusia in
 southern Spain, Zahara de la Sierra is losing its wildlife and
 greenery because of a rise in temperature and a drop in rainfall
 in recent years.
 Source: 
 Travel Channel
Slide 12 of 30: 
 Madagascar's forests are predicted to exist for only another 35
 years because of a multitude of fires and mass deforestation.
 Source:
 The Huffington Post
Slide 13 of 30: 
 Get your gondola ride in soon, because Venice has been sinking
 for a number of years, and is showing no signs of stopping. More
 and more severe floods in recent years are also contributing to
 the disappearance of the city of canals.
 Source: Live
 Science
Slide 14 of 30: 
 The ruins of the Incan Empire attract millions of tourists per
 year, far exceeding the limit of 2,500 visitors per day that was
 originally set by UNESCO and Peru. Many believe that this, along
 with natural landslides and erosion, could cause the ruins to
 collapse, unless more regulations are put in place. 
 Source: Peruvian Times, 
 Global Citizen
Slide 15 of 30: 
 A combination of too many tourists and foreign species that don't
 belong is threatening the ecosystem and unique native species of
 the Galapagos Islands, a group of islands off the coast of
 Ecuador.
 Source: 
 The Weather Channel
Slide 16 of 30: 
 Africa's Congo Basin, the world's second-largest rainforest, is
 also one of the world's most biodiverse areas, with over 10,000
 plant species, 1,000 bird species, and 400 mammal species.
 However, the United Nations predicts that two-thirds of its
 forest, including its plants and wildlife, may be completely gone
 by 2040.
 Source:CNN,
 NBC
Slide 17 of 30: 
 The Dead Sea, which borders Jordan and Israel, has sunk 80 feet
 and disappeared by a third in the past 40 years. As long as
 countries around the sea continue to use water from the River
 Jordan (the only place the Dead Sea draws its water from), the
 sea could be completely gone in 50 years.
 Source:Time
Slide 18 of 30: 
 The Florida Everglades have been referred to as the most
 threatened park in the US. Too much water, new species, and urban
 development are all part of the problem.
 Source:
 Florida Museum of Natural History
Slide 19 of 30: 
 Native to California's Mojave Desert, Joshua trees are both
 unique and intriguing. Unfortunately, though, due to the severe
 droughts the state has suffered this past year, the trees are in
 desperate need of water. Only one inch of rain has fallen in the
 Mojave in the past seven months. If conditions don't improve
 soon, the trees won't be able to reproduce.
 Source: 
 Global Citizen
Slide 20 of 30: 
 Bad news for hikers and winter sports fans: Climate change has a
 strong effect on the Alps because they're at a lower altitude
 than other mountain ranges, such as the Rockies. Every year, the
 European mountain range loses around 3% of glacial ice, which
 means that by 2050 there might not be any more glaciers.
 Source:Time
Slide 21 of 30: 
 Sitting in the Pacific Ocean between between Australia and
 Hawaii, Tuvalu is a tiny Polynesian nation made up of nine
 islands. The islands are in danger of being engulfed by the water
 that surrounds them, because they only rise about 15 feet out of
 the sea to begin with.
 Source: 
 Travel Channel
Slide 22 of 30: 
 The Taj Mahal is one of the most iconic buildings in the world,
 but some experts worry that the site could collapse because of
 erosion and pollution.
 Source: 
 The Wall Street Journal
Slide 23 of 30: 
 The world's largest coral reef, Australia's Great Barrier Reef,
 has decreased by more than half its size because of rising
 temperatures in the past 30 years. Coral bleaching thanks to acid
 pollution is another concern, leading scientists to predict that
 the reefs could be completely gone by 2030.
 Source: Time
Slide 24 of 30: 
 Egypt's pyramids and Great Sphinx are facing erosion from
 pollution. As sewage is weakening the plates they stand on, there
 are concerns that the pollution may eventually lead to their
 complete collapse. 
 Source: 
 Frommer's
Slide 25 of 30: 
 At an impressive 2.1 million square miles, Brazil's Amazon is the
 largest rainforest in the world. It's home to the world's most
 diverse species, but expansion of agriculture could lead to the
 destruction of the rainforest.
 Source: 
 The Guardian, 
 National Geographic
Slide 26 of 30: 
 The largest man-made structure in the world, the Great Wall of
 China has survived for over 2,000 years as a favorite must-see
 destination, but recent over-farming has led to nearly two-thirds
 of the wall having already been damaged or destroyed. The wall
 could be reduced to ruins by erosion in as little as 20 years. 
 Source: The
 Guardian, 
 The Independent
Slide 27 of 30: 
 The Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, is slowly
 sinking because of climate change. Scientists predict that within
 100 years, it will be completely submerged. 
 Source: BBC News
Slide 28 of 30: 
 Built mainly out of mud, the mosques of Timbuktu date back to the
 14th-16th centuries, and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. But no
 amount of protection can shield them from the temperature and
 rainfall increases that threaten to destroy them.
 Source: 
 Travel Channel
Slide 29 of 30: 
 Big Sur in California is known for offering up-close whale
 watching, but recent droughts and wildfires are significantly
 harming the coastal region, and leading to fewer sightings of the
 mammals each year.
 Source: 
 PBS
Slide 30 of 30: 
 Chan Chan was the capital city of the Chimu
 Kingdom, which ruled in Peru pre Incas. 
 Thanks to illegal farming in the
 area, as well as extreme weather, the ancient city is in
 danger of destruction. It was added to UNESCO's List of
 World Heritage in Danger in 1986. 
 Read more: 
 30 of
 the most beautiful natural wonders around the world 
 100
 trips in the US everyone should take in their lifetime 
 The
 very best thing to do in every state 
 40 of
 the most underrated travel destinations around the world

Earth is home to incredibly beautiful
natural sites.

But because of climate change and human carelessness, some of
them are in danger of disappearing in the next 100 years – or
even sooner.

From Patagonia’s glaciers to Africa’s Congo Basin, these
threatened natural wonders and man-made historic sites span the
globe.

Click through the slideshow above to see
where you should visit sooner rather than later.

Talia Avakian contributed
to an earlier version of this article.

Maya Bay, Thailand

Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant
Conservation (DNP) announced that its famous Maya Bay will be
indefinitely closed to tourists.

Known for its clear turquoise waters, white sand, and lush,
towering cliffs, the bay served as a filming location for the
2000 movie, “The Beach,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Since the film’s release, Maya Bay has seen a massive influx of
tourism – often up to 5,000 visitors a day, DNP director Songtam
Suksawang said. According to Suksawang, this unending wave of
travelers has “seriously damaged” the bay’s
ecological system, which will now need time to recover, The
Guardian reported.

Belize Barrier Reef System, Belize

The Belize Barrier Reef System was added to the UNESCO List of
World Heritage in Danger in 2009. It’s the
largest
barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, according to
UNESCO.

The Outer Banks, North Carolina

The shores of North Carolina’s Outer Banks are eroding the land
they border, putting landmarks such as the Cape Hatteras
Lighthouse – which dates back to 1870 – in danger.

Source:
Business Insider

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

The picturesque snow that tops Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania may
not be there much longer. Between the years of 1912 and 2007,
Kilimanjaro’s ice sheet already shrunk by a whopping 85%.

Source:
CNN

The Seychelles

A popular destination for honeymooners or paradise-seekers, the
islands of the Seychelles – located in the Indian Ocean off the
coast of Madagascar – are vanishing because of beach erosion.
They’re in danger of completely disappearing in the next 50 to
100 years.

Source:Time

Glacier National Park, Montana

The number of glaciers in Montana’s Glacier National Park has
decreased to fewer than 25 from 150. In 15 years there may be
none left.

Source:Time

The Mirador Basin and Tikal National Park, Guatemala

The Mirador Basin and Tikal National Park in Guatemala are home
to the mysterious ruins of Mayan civilization. Illegal looting
and forest burning, however, may destroy this piece of history.

Source: UNESCO

The Sundarbans, India and Bangladesh

The Sundarbans contain close to 4,000 miles of water and land in
the Ganges Delta. They’re home to the largest area of mangrove
forests in the world. These forests provide a refuge for a number
of endangered species, like tigers. Deforestation, pollution, and
a strong dependence on fossil fuels are causing sea levels to
rise rapidly in the area, which has led to the erosion of
precious coastline.

Source UNESCO,
Global Citizen

Patagonia’s glaciers, Argentina

Patagonia’s glaciers make for one of the most beautiful tourist
attractions in the world, but less rainfall and higher
temperatures are causing these wonders to shrink.

Source:
Travel Channel

Zahara de la Sierra, Spain

A province of Cádiz nestled in the mountains of Andalusia in
southern Spain, Zahara de la Sierra is losing its wildlife and
greenery because of a rise in temperature and a drop in rainfall
in recent years.

Source:
Travel Channel

Madagascar’s forests

Madagascar’s forests are predicted to exist for only another 35
years because of a multitude of fires and mass deforestation.

Source:
The Huffington Post

Venice, Italy

Get your gondola ride in soon, because Venice has been sinking
for a number of years, and is showing no signs of stopping. More
and more severe floods in recent years are also contributing to
the disappearance of the city of canals.

Source: Live
Science

Machu Picchu, Peru

The ruins of the Incan Empire attract millions of tourists per
year, far exceeding the limit of 2,500 visitors per day that was
originally set by UNESCO and Peru. Many believe that this, along
with natural landslides and erosion, could cause the ruins to
collapse, unless more regulations are put in place.

Source: Peruvian Times,

Global Citizen

The Galapagos Islands

A combination of too many tourists and foreign species that don’t
belong is threatening the ecosystem and unique native species of
the Galapagos Islands, a group of islands off the coast of
Ecuador.

Source:
The Weather Channel

The Congo Basin, Africa

Africa’s Congo Basin, the world’s second-largest rainforest, is
also one of the world’s most biodiverse areas, with over 10,000
plant species, 1,000 bird species, and 400 mammal species.
However, the United Nations predicts that two-thirds of its
forest, including its plants and wildlife, may be completely gone
by 2040.

Source:CNN,
NBC

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea, which borders Jordan and Israel, has sunk 80 feet
and disappeared by a third in the past 40 years. As long as
countries around the sea continue to use water from the River
Jordan (the only place the Dead Sea draws its water from), the
sea could be completely gone in 50 years.

Source:Time

The Florida Everglades

The Florida Everglades have been referred to as the most
threatened park in the US. Too much water, new species, and urban
development are all part of the problem.

Source:
Florida Museum of Natural History

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Native to California’s Mojave Desert, Joshua trees are both
unique and intriguing. Unfortunately, though, due to the severe
droughts the state has suffered this past year, the trees are in
desperate need of water. Only one inch of rain has fallen in the
Mojave in the past seven months. If conditions don’t improve
soon, the trees won’t be able to reproduce.

Source:
Global Citizen

The Alps, Europe

Bad news for hikers and winter sports fans: Climate change has a
strong effect on the Alps because they’re at a lower altitude
than other mountain ranges, such as the Rockies. Every year, the
European mountain range loses around 3% of glacial ice, which
means that by 2050 there might not be any more glaciers.

Source:Time

Tuvalu

Sitting in the Pacific Ocean between between Australia and
Hawaii, Tuvalu is a tiny Polynesian nation made up of nine
islands. The islands are in danger of being engulfed by the water
that surrounds them, because they only rise about 15 feet out of
the sea to begin with.

Source:
Travel Channel

The Taj Mahal, India

The Taj Mahal is one of the most iconic buildings in the world,
but some experts worry that the site could collapse because of
erosion and pollution.

Source:
The Wall Street Journal

The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The world’s largest coral reef, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef,
has decreased by more than half its size because of rising
temperatures in the past 30 years. Coral bleaching thanks to acid
pollution is another concern, leading scientists to predict that
the reefs could be completely gone by 2030.

Source: Time

The Pyramids, Egypt

Egypt’s pyramids and Great Sphinx are facing erosion from
pollution. As sewage is weakening the plates they stand on, there
are concerns that the pollution may eventually lead to their
complete collapse.

Source:
Frommer’s

The Amazon, Brazil

At an impressive 2.1 million square miles, Brazil’s Amazon is the
largest rainforest in the world. It’s home to the world’s most
diverse species, but expansion of agriculture could lead to the
destruction of the rainforest.

Source:
The Guardian,
National Geographic

The Great Wall of China

The largest man-made structure in the world, the Great Wall of
China has survived for over 2,000 years as a favorite must-see
destination, but recent over-farming has led to nearly two-thirds
of the wall having already been damaged or destroyed. The wall
could be reduced to ruins by erosion in as little as 20 years.

Source: The
Guardian,
The Independent

The Maldives

The Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, is slowly
sinking because of climate change. Scientists predict that within
100 years, it will be completely submerged.

Source: BBC News

Mosques of Timbuktu, Mali

Built mainly out of mud, the mosques of Timbuktu date back to the
14th-16th centuries, and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. But no
amount of protection can shield them from the temperature and
rainfall increases that threaten to destroy them.

Source:
Travel Channel

Big Sur, California

Big Sur in California is known for offering up-close whale
watching, but recent droughts and wildfires are significantly
harming the coastal region, and leading to fewer sightings of the
mammals each year.

Source:
PBS

Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, Peru

Chan Chan was the capital city of the Chimu
Kingdom, which ruled in Peru pre Incas.

Thanks to illegal farming in the
area, as well as extreme weather, the ancient city is in
danger of destruction. It was added to UNESCO’s List of
World Heritage in Danger in 1986. 

Source: Read Full Article