How many times have you heard the saying “nothing lasts forever?” Well that might just happen to some of the most well-known and frequently visited tourist destinations in the world. The saddest part is that these places include World Wonders. And if measures aren’t taken to keep them safe, they will disappear soon. Keep reading to find out what they are.
1. Venice, Italy
The city of Venice has been sinking for quite some time. The rising water levels due to global warming have only served to hasten the pace, as do the vast amount of water displaced by large cruise ships. Severe flooding in 2019 managed to place 70% of the city under water. It’s so bad that if things continue the way they are, the city will be inhabitable by the end of the century.
2. The Maldives
The threat to the Maldives, unlike Venice, is on a national scale. The tallest point in the country is only five meters above sea level (with some sources saying that it’s actually no more than two meters. What that means is that the island nation could become submerged in this lifetime. The former president called for an immediate reduction in greenhouse gases and started making a plan to make the Maldives carbon neutral.
3. The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China looks like it was built to last, and while that may be the case, nothing lasts forever. Over the hundreds of years that it’s been in existence, the 5, 500-mile-long World Wonder has lost 30% of its structure. Wind, rain, plants growing between the bricks, urban development and brick theft have all contributed. And with constant, unpredictable weather changes and erosion, even more of the wall is predicted to be lost in the near future.
4. The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the second World Wonder that might soon disappear. The reef is spread out across 133, 000 square miles off the coast of Australia and is the largest coral reef system in the world. And it’s visited by tourists from all over the world for its vast marine life, which includes one quarter of all marine species in the world. Unfortunately, the increasing ocean temperatures have already destroyed nearly 50% of the reef’s coral life, with more than 93% of what’s left being exposed to erosion and coral bleaching. If this continues to happen, it will be catastrophic for the planet.
5. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu (the third World Wonder on our list) may not exist much longer due to human interference. The Peruvian World Wonder gained immense popularity in the 1980s, during which time local developers cut down trees to help increase foot traffic. It took less than 40 years for the effects to be felt. Since 2018, landslides have become increasingly common due to the increased development. What’s worse is that the large number of tourists treading the paths have led to erosion. The government had to implement a cap of 2,500 daily visitors to prevent further damage. While this is bad news, this is the only disaster which might be reversible.
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