It’s a beautiful world we live in, but with climate and environmental changes, the world as we know it is also steadily changing, threatening these stunning sights. Go now before it’s too late or you’ll be appreciating the beauty of these places from the pages of the history books.
The city of Casanova, gondolas and canals is loved for its waterways and bridges but it’s the water that’s threatening to take down the beauty of this northeastern Italian city. Often flooded by tides pushing in from the Adriatic, it has always been a worry that Venice was sinking, but in recent years it’s been reported that the city is sinking five times faster than previously thought!
#2 The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The world’s biggest structure made by living organisms and the largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef encompasses over 2,900 reefs and 900 islands over more than 133,000 square miles. With pollution, climate change and sea levels on the rise, the Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its corals since 1985 and scientists predict it could completely disappear by 2030 if drastic measures aren’t taken to protect the reef. So go before they vanish and be sure not to touch the corals (they’re extremely delicate).
The cluster of paradise islands known as the Maldives is renowned for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and world-class diving. This popular honeymoon destination is also the lowest country in the world, with an average ground level elevation of 1.5 meters above sea level, which isn’t good news with the rising sea levels – some experts say the islands could be completely submerged in less than 100 years.
See our guide on the best months to visit.
#4 Taj Mahal, India
The ultimate symbol of love, the Taj Mahal was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his great love – his wife Mumtaz Mahal, for an estimated cost of 32 million rupees (about USD$827 million in today’s currency). Now more than 350 years later, pollution and erosion threaten to bring down the beautiful structure and many are calling for the Taj Mahal to close to the public – so don’t wait if you want to see this architectural up close.
#5 The Dead Sea, Jordan
Don’t let the morbid name fool you – the Dead Sea gets its name from being so salty that no animals can live in it (it’s almost 10 times saltier than the ocean) and is famous for salinity that makes swimmers float and the healing properties of the water. Due to countries sourcing water from the River Jordan, the Dead Sea’s only water source, it continues to decrease more than three feet annually with no signs of a feasible solution.
#6 The North Pole
Earth’s most northern point is a year-round winter wonderland that’s home to polar bears, penguins, icebergs and some say Santa Claus – it’s also the place to watch Aurora Borealis. Sadly, the North Pole is steadily melting with the world’s rising temperatures (also contributing to rising sea levels) and this climate change is also taking a toll on the ecosystem, meaning a decreasing number of polar bears and penguins. So you better hurry if you want to tick this chilly destination off your bucket list (and before Santa relocates!).