There are still many places on this planet that have not yet been discovered. But some of the places that have already been inhabited and touched by society are slowly eroding away. Whether due to global warming, climate change, or environmental damage (such as pollution or oil spills) some of these destinations will no longer be around in as little as 50 years!
From Venice to Alaska all the way to the Maldives, these are just a few places that might disappear within half a century.
Here are 10 destinations that will no longer be around in your lifetime.
1. Seychelles. Located in the Indian Ocean off of the coast of Madagascar, Seychelles is a popular tourist destination. The 115 islands that are located there might all disappear due to the rising water levels from global warming.
Locals have stated that the land is slowly receding as water from their beaches continues to takeover more dry land. Two compounding factors are speeding up the death of these islands.
The rapid death rate of corals, which will cause such damaging erosion to the islands that they will literally be swept away by the water, in addition to the steadily rising sea levels, which are bound to overtake the dry land, are two enormous variables that are contributing to the death of these islands. Experts argue that in as little as 50 to 100 years, all the islands could be completely submerged.
2. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Home to many marine animals, the Great Barrier Reef is a complex ecosystem that houses fish, sharks, rays and dolphins just to name a few.
Experts and scientists have agreed that irreversible damage is bound to occur by 2030 if nothing is done by then. They advise that immediate action should be taking place in order to stop the deaths of these corals and animals.
Over the past 30 years, nearly half the coral has disappeared due to rising ocean temperatures, agricultural runoff and coastal development.
Animals like the butterfly fish, whale sharks and hawkbill sea turtles are in danger of becoming extinct if all the coral dies.
3. Kiribati. Kiribati is an island nation that has become a popular tourist’s attraction. Due to environmental damage, scientists speculate that in a matter of decades Kiribati will become uninhabitable.
In 2014, the Kiribati government purchased nearly 6,000 acres of land in Fiji for approximately $7 million to account for its impending demise. It even urged its 110,000 locals to move abroad or to relocate elsewhere.
4. The Great Wall Of China. Originally created as a defense mechanism, one would think that the Great Wall was indestructible. But what is so ironic is that it is the fellow countrymen that have deteriorated the wall.
It is estimated that a third of the wall has completely been destroyed. From poor locals taking bricks for the construction of new homes, to natural erosion, to the selling of these bricks, the Great Wall is slowly eroding away.
Although China has implemented a fine for those caught stealing bricks off the wall, that hasn’t done much to deter locals looking to build a roof over their heads. Experts believe that in 20 years the northwestern part of the Great Wall will be completely gone.
5. Congo Basin. Home to the world’s second largest rain forest, the Congo Basin spreads across 6 countries and contributes to almost half of the world’s oxygen! With tons of animals across the savannas, swamps and forests, the 3.4 million square kilometer forest has slowly been diminishing.
Due to deforestation, mining and illegal wildlife trade, animals such as the elephants have been hunted nearly to extinction. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, between the years 2002 to 2013, the elephant population dropped from 62,000 to a staggering 5,000. The United Nations has predicted that approximately two thirds of the rain forest could be gone by 2040!
6. The Maldives. Composed of nearly 1,200 islands, approximately 200 are inhabited and about half of those are resorts. In 2009, the then president of the Maldives held a press conference underwater to showcase the dangers that are literally surrounding the islands.
Experts suspect that within 100 years, all the islands that make up the Maldives could be submerged in water. This would leave the 345,000 residents in danger of a massive upheaval and subsequent migration.
7. Alaska. The Alaskan Tundra is a flat, treeless region where the subsoil is perpetually frozen. Global warming has caused the melting of the permafrost which is creating huge environmental impacts.
Statistics show that the Arctic regions are warming nearly twice as fast as the rest of the United States. Forcing animals to relocate to regions that they are not used to, and killing off many of the species, the climate change has affected both humans and animals.
The tiny village of Kivalina in Alaska is expected to be submerged in water within the next 10 years putting its 400 inhabitants at great risk. Experts estimate that within 100 years the Alaskan Tundra will completely disappear.
8. San Francisco. Earthquakes have long been associated with San Francisco but a group of geologists have discovered that beneath the waters of San Francisco Bay there is a connection between the Rodgers Creek and the Hayward faults. Both of which are earthquake fault zones.
Experts argue that when this occurs in 2086 (a 75% probability that it will occur by then), it could create a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 which would be the fifth largest in California and potentially the deadliest.
9. Venice. The beautiful Italian city of Venice with its canals and streams have been slowly sinking. Some of Venice’s most popular buildings have suffered structural damage due to the rising sea levels.
In 2008, the city was decimated by a massive flood with signs of wreckage still prominent. Since that massive flood, more regular but smaller floods have occurred and locals are concerned about the impending doom.
Scientists and geologists have noticed that the floods have caused the city to tilt to the east, forcing the Italian city into the Adriatic Sea. They have also argued that by 2100, the city will no longer be inhabitable.
10. The Alps. The glaciers of the Alps have long been a staple on postcards and screen savers and that may be the only way left to remember this beautiful scenery. Scientists state that by 2050 the glaciers will be completely destroyed.
Due to climate change and the lower altitude of the Alps compared to other mountain ranges, their glaciers are especially susceptible to shrinking. Every year, the mountain range loses about 3 per cent of its Alpine glacial ice which converts to about 1 meter of ice thickness!
Scientists have attempted to deter these effects by covering the Alps with a special blanket. The Rhone glacier in Switzerland (the oldest glacier of the Alps) has been covered for the past 8 years and has helped in reducing the ice melt by nearly 70 per cent.
Unfortunately, most of the damage has already been done and the deteriorating situation of the alps will lead to devastating impacts on the European economy, tourism, drinking and irrigation water and also falling rocks.