Right from the beginning of time, earth has been home to many beautiful natural wonders. However, due to environmental problems such as climate change and owing to the general disinterestedness and a tendency towards exploitation by humans, some of these sites are in the danger of disappearing. If not taken care of immediately, these sites could vanish off the face if the earth in the next 100 years, or sooner than that. Here is a small list of some of these natural wonders on Earth that are under the threat of extinction.
1. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
The vision of the quiet snow on the top of the mountains is nowhere more beautiful than it is in Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro is most famously known for containing three volcanic cones. The region, though, is under threat of extinction. Between the years 1912 to 2007, the ice sheet that covers the mountain has shrunk by a total of 85%. If the rate continues to increase in this way, it might not be long before Mount Kilimanjaro disappears from the face of the earth.
2. The Mirador Basin and Tikal National Park in Guatemala
Associated most commonly with the Mayan civilization, this place forms the home to many mysterious ruins. Tikal literally means ‘Lugar de Las Voces’ (place of voices)! The Mirador Basin and Tikal National Park might disappear from the face of the Earth owing to illegal hunting and forest fires that is area is often subjected to.
3. Cádiz in Andalusia, southern Spain
A province called Zahara de la Sierra present in Cádiz is one of the most majestic sites present on Earth today. This place is famous for its history of being one of the most regularly attacked places by pirates for 200 years! A rise in temperature and drop in the amount of annual rainfall that is received in this area is putting this region under threat of extinction.
4. The Outer Banks of North Carolina
The shores of these banks have some of the most beautiful landmarks present in the region, such as the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which was built in 1870. This place is most famous for being one of the places where Edward Teach (or Blackbeard) used to visit these water often, looking for merchants to rob! The region is mostly due to erosion of the soil, these landmarks are considered to be under the threat of extinction.
5. The forests of Madagascar
One of the most popular and biggest sites in the world, the forests of Madagascar contain thousands of myths and stories within them. The rainforests that exist within the Madagascar are popularly known as ‘lowland forests’. The destruction of the forests first began in 1800s, with the beginning of colonization by the Europeans. The most interesting fun fact, however, remains that there exists a movie called ‘Madagascar’ which has been made about the animals of this forest. The forests of Madagascar have been for long subjected to mass deforestation and many forest fires. They are predicted to now exist only for the next 35 years.
6. Montana’s Glacier National Park
This site contains a multitude of glaciers that are majestic and calming to look at. There are more than 700 lakes in this one park. But, over the past few years, due to a rise in temperature, the number of glaciers present in this area has been reduced from 150 to a mere 25. If the rate continues, these glaciers will become extinct in the next 15 years.
7. Magdalen Islands in Quebec, Canada
This place forms the perfect getaway spot in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It contains many beautiful sandy beaches and sandstone cliffs. This place is most famous for having the best chefs and lobsters! Tourists from all over the world visit here, sometimes solely for the exquisite cuisine. The archipelago is constantly subjected to heavy winds. Even though there stands a thick protective sea all around the region, the coast of the island erodes to at least 40 inches in a matter of just one year. With the rise in temperature due to global warming, the layer of ice is melting at an extremely fast rate and it is predicted that if no change occurs, the ice caps will disappear entirely in the next 75 years, leaving the place vulnerable to heavy, dangerous and regular storms.
Anything that can be said to appreciate the beauty of Venice will seem less. Words can never justify the beauty of this place, which stands ‘floating’ on water. The history of this place can be dated back to 400 AD. Built by the people of the neighboring countries who were looking to hide from the Barbarians and Attila the Hun after the fall of the Roman Empire, residence in this place first began by Venetian lagoon that offered refuge to the people who had fled from their native lands. The place today remains full of architectural and artistic treasures. It is known that Venice formally came into existence on 25th March, 421 A.D. In popular culture, it is known as the city that was built from fear. Due to global warming and melting of the ice that result in a rise in the water level, Venice has recently witnessed many floods. If the situation does not see some change in the next few years, it is believed that Venice will most surely sink.
9. Galapagos Islands in Ecuador
These islands are present on the western coast of Ecuador and exist as a group. This place has witnessed around 13 volcanic eruptions in the past century! Due to its popularity, it has become a common tourist site and people from all around the world come to see the animals in this place. However, this popularity has led to an unnatural breeding as and when new species that do not belong to the environment are introduced and placed within this area by humans. This disturbs the ecological balance of the island and cancels out all of its unique aspects, putting the lives of the organisms that already exist there under threat.
10. Congo Basin in Africa
One of the most diverse areas in the world, this place consists of more than 10,000 species of plants, 1,000 species of birds and more than 400 distinct mammal species. The Congo Basin in Africa is the second largest rainforest in the world. The Congo today stands under the threat of extinction mostly because of illegal mining, the forest has been predicted to become extinct by the year 2040.
11. Dead Sea
Present on the borders of Jordan and Israel, the Dead Sea is one of the most popular places on Earth. The Dead Sea is roughly 9 times saltier than any ocean on Earth. Due to its harsh environmental conditions, most animals could not survive in the Dead Sea (hence the name). The Dead Sea is also commonly known as the Salt Sea. It forms the lowest elevation of the surface of the Earth. The sea contains natural buoyancy, which means that people could easily float on the water of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is now a major centre for research and health treatments. The Dead Sea has sunk more than 80 feet in just a matter of few years. It is predicted that the Sea might disappear completely in the next 50 years.
12. Florida Everglades
People from all around the world come to visit the Florida Everglades to witness its unique and vegetation and a varied wildlife. In North America, the Florida Everglades forms the largest saw-grass prairie till today. Besides this, Everglades is actually a river that is constantly moving! It is the only place on Earth where crocodiles coexist with alligators. This place is increasingly becoming the most threatened park in the whole of the United States. A rise in urban residence in this region, besides increased water levels and a development of new species, are some of the major reasons that this place falls under the threat of extinction today.
Hardly anything needs to be said about the beauty and the majesty of the Alps, which form the most extensive mountain range across Europe. The Alps are most famous for being an ideal hiking and skiing spot for tourists from all around the world. Due to climate change, the ice on these rocky mountains melts at least 3% every year. If no change in the environment is witnessed soon, the Alps will disappear by the year 2050.
14. Taj Mahal
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is one of the most historically beautiful buildings in the world. Build by Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife, this monument stands today in city of Agra in India. Unfortunately, this majestic monument which has for long been a symbol of Shah Jahan’s love for his wife has been deteriorating in its condition over the past decade. Erosion and pollution are the main causes for the Taj Mahal being under the threat of extinction. The marble of the monument, which used to be snow-white in colour earlier is now gradually turning yellow!
15. The Pyramids of Egypt and the Great Sphinx
These pyramids were made between the years 2589 and 2504 B.C. Iconic mostly due the brilliance of architecture and engineering, these pyramids in Egypt are one of the most popular sites, especially among tourists and archaeologists. Many myths and legends are associated with these pyramids in Egypt. It is known that the Egyptians built the sphinx statues to protect their tombs and temples. But the pyramids stand today on the verge of extinction mainly due to erosion caused by pollution. It is believed that if the amount of population continues to exist in this region, the pyramids will soon fall and cease to exist.
16. Amazon forest in Brazil
Home to various different and unique species, this forest in Brazil stretches to approximately 2.1 million square miles. The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. The forest remains under the threat of extinction today mostly due to an increased amount of agricultural activity that takes place in this region.
The Alaska tundra in the United States is one of the most majestic sites in the world. Located in the northwest of Canada, this region remains today one of the most scarcely populated areas in the world. The entire region is full of small towns, mountains, wildlife, forests and wide open spaces covered with snow. Besides being the home for more than 3 million lakes, Alaska is the only place on Earth where one gets to witness the northern lights! The state of Alaska has been for the past few years deteriorating a bit mostly due to climate change, the ecosystem of Alaska has undergone several drastic changes in the past few years.
18. The Great Wall of China
Made of earth, stone, brick, wood and several other materials, the Great Wall of China is spread across the northern borders of China. It was first built to protect China from the continuous raids of the nomadic groups. The Great Wall of China remains till date the largest man-made structure in the entire world. The Wall stands under the threat of extinction due to increased agricultural activity around it. If the rate of erosion continues to prevail and is not managed, the Wall may be destroyed and damaged entirely in the next 20 years.
19. Big Sur in California
Known most famously for whale watching, the Big Sur stretches (for approximately 90 miles) on the central coast from Carmel and San Simeon in California. The Big Sur is located alongside a highway, and was earlier called El Sur Grande, The Big South. The Big Sur has recently witnessed many droughts and wildfires which has damaged the region beyond repair. Fewer and fewer mammals are spotted in the region each year.
20. Great Barrier Reef in Australia
This breathtaking beauty is present off the coast of Queensland in Australia. Its abundance of marine life has made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It is the largest coral reef in the world. But, it has recently been discovered that rising temperatures and acid pollution might lead to a complete extinction of the Reef by the year 2030.