Planet Earth has amazing geography, with more picturesque scenes than you can imagine. However, due to global climate change, some of these magical places won’t be around for long. Pack your bags and take these trips before it’s too late! Here are 11 amazing places to visit before they disappear, either alone or with family.
The beautiful Maldives in the Indian Ocean is home to picturesque beaches, coral reefs and lagoons. It is also the lowest lying country in the world, which means that it will be the first country to disappear if the sea levels continue to rise. As it stands, there are populations in the Maldives who have already been forced to relocated due to the rising ocean.
2. Venice, Italy
Venice is a magical city in Italy famous for romantic canals and waterways that serve as roads would in other cities. The city has beautiful architecture with an air of romance and mystery, as old bridges allow pedestrians to cross over canals while gondolas pass under. It’s well known for seafood feasts, glass art and masquerades with beautiful hand crafted masks. However, Venice is sinking at a rate of up to two millimeters every year, which means the city will become even more susceptible to flooding and could be uninhabitable by the end of the century.
3. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef took 8,000 years to form and is now home to a diverse array of beautiful, colorful sea creatures. It’s an entire ecosystem that could disappear within our lifetimes due to climate change, water pollution and rising ocean temperatures.
4. Glacier National Park, USA
Glacier National Park in Montana borders Canada and was once home to 150 majestic glaciers approximately 100 years ago. By 2005, only 27 of the original 150 remained, with the others expected to disappear by 2030. This beautiful park with stunning scenery will suffer intense changes once the glaciers melt, since the ecosystem has been built around them for so long. Much of the wildlife relies on cold water, so if the glaciers melt, many plants and animals won’t survive.
5. The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea rests between Israel and Palestine and has the highest concentration of salt in the world, which makes it ultra easy to float. The Dead Sea is known for its healing properties, which draw people from around the world who come and bathe in the water. Many think that the unique combination of salt and minerals can treat ailments such as arthritis or psoriasis. However, surrounding countries have been taking water from the Jordan River, the Dead Sea’s main tributary, and there are ongoing mineral mining operations to the south. As the water recedes, freshwater takes its place and has dissolved salt deposits and caused gaping sinkholes. The water level has already dropped approximately 80 feet and the Dead Sea has shrank by a third. At this rate, scientists believe the Dead Sea could completely vanish in about 50 years.
6. The Seychelles
The Seychelles Archipelago consists of 115 islands of powder soft sand, blue green waters and lush green hills in the Indian Ocean. 45 of the 115 islands are formed from granite, with huge boulders scattered throughout the islands. Rising sea levels and beach erosion threaten this tropical paradise, and some scientists say the entire chain of islands will be completely submerged within 50 to 100 years.
7. The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands feels like a realm straight out of a story book, with sea lions at every beach and native species that aren’t found anywhere else. However, the islands are in danger due to massive tourism growth and an illegal animal trade. The delicate ecosystems of the Galapagos are already being disturbed, and sadly the condition of many of these islands are drastically worse than they were even 10 years ago.
Tuvalu is located between Hawaii and Australia and is home to beautiful beaches and gorgeous mountains with lush greenery. However, as the ocean levels rise these islands and their 10,000 inhabitants are at risk of disappearing. By 2090, Tuvalu could be completely uninhabitable.
9. The Alps, Switzerland
This famous skiing destination loses approximately 3 percent of ice annually. The famous glaciers that attract skiers and outdoor enthusiasts will be gone by 2050, and the ski resorts won’t be the only places affected. The region has been warming about three times faster than the global average, which can be a problem for Europe as the Alps supply about 40 percent of Europe’s fresh water.
10. The Amazon Rainforest, South America
The famous Amazon Rainforest is home to species that you won’t find anywhere else such as the pink river dolphin and capybara, which was probably the origin of many urban legends about the creates of the Amazon. It is the largest and most diverse tropical rainforest in the world, but it’s in danger from climate change. If the temperature rises even just 3.9 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of the Amazon rainforest will die off in the next century. If you double that, up to 85 percent could die off.
Kiribati, a tiny country of beautiful beaches and coral reefs, was the first country to announce that global warming and rising sea levels was making its lands uninhabitable and ask for help relocating its population. If the oceans continue to rise, 33 atolls and coral islands will disappear under the water.
If you aren’t looking up flights yet, we suggest you do so soon. These amazing locations should be treasured, witnessed and photographed before it’s too late. Just make sure you tread lightly, don’t leave too many footprints, and do your part to preserve the ecosystem.