Do you have a wish list of amazing places you want to visit on this Earth? If so, this article is for you. Climate change, environmental disasters, and over development threaten to wipe out some of the planet’s most spectacular places. If any of the 8 discussed in this article are on your list you should move up the date for your trip. These places may deny access or disappear altogether in as little as a few decades.
1. The Seychelles
The Seychelles Archipelago is a cluster of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Powdery sand, topaz water, and lush green hills are “ordinary” sights in this tropical paradise. The archipelago is unique, with 45 of its islands formed from granite! Huge granitic boulders are scattered on beaches and throughout cities and towns. The Seychelles are in danger. Rising sea levels and beach erosion because of coral reef destruction threaten the island paradise. Some scientists see the entire island chain entirely submerged in 50 to 100 years.
Antarctica is one of the most spectacular places to visit on Earth. It’s enormous ice shelves and majestic mountain ranges are stunning examples of nature’s grandeur. Scientists warn the icy continent is melting. While it may be a long time before it thaws entirely, steps to shrink the environmental impact of tourism mean stricter limitations are on the way. Don’t wait too long to book your trip, visit while you still can.
3. The Athabasca Glacier, Canada
The Athabasca Glacier is the most visited glacier in North America. It is conveniently located alongside Highway 93 between Banff and Jasper in the Alberta, Canada. It tumbles down impressively from the Columbia Ice Fields, the largest ice fields in the majestic Canadian Rockies. The glacier itself has been melting for 125 years, with its Southern edge receding almost a mile already! Parks Canada says it is melting quicker, losing 6 to 10 feet a year and is in danger of disappearing within a generation.
4. Taj Mahal, India
An ornate mausoleum of white marble, The Taj Mahal is the sparkling jewel of Muslim art in India. Built in the 17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his favorite wife, The Taj Mahal currently hosts 3 million visitors a year. India’s star attraction may be barring entry soon as heavy foot traffic, air pollution, and poor restoration have eroded the structures integrity both internally and externally. Until the magnificent structure is sound, the days of up-close encounters are numbered. If the Taj Mahal is a must see for you, you should travel soon. Pollution is gradually staining the stunning mausoleum a sickly yellow color.
5. Venice, Italy
Venice, an Italian city heralded as one of the most romantic places to visit in the world may soon go the way of Atlantis. Known for epic grandeur, seafood feasts and its beguiling network of watery canals, Venice has been sinking slowly for years. A steady increase in severe flooding year after year has scientists theorizing how long the city will remain above water. Some say it will be uninhabitable by the turn of the century.
6. Beaches on Oahu, Hawaii
Known as “The Gathering Place”, friendly Oahu is the center of the Hawaiian universe. It boasts all the allure of the Islands with the buzz of busy Honolulu and slow paced Island life on Northern and Eastern shores. The most visited Hawaiian Island; Oahu welcomes 4.5 million travelers each year. Surprisingly, many of its star attractions are in serious danger. A shocking amount of Oahu’s coastline has been eroded because of rising sea levels. Studies found 24% of Oahu’s beaches have narrowed significantly or disappeared altogether.
7. The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. Some say its mineral rich waters relieve conditions from psoriasis to arthritis. For the past 40 years, countries bordering the Dead Sea have been siphoning huge amounts of water from the River Jordan, the seas primary water source. This has caused the water level to drop 80 feet! Shrinking the Dead Sea by a third already, scientists believe it could dry up in as little as 50 years.
8. The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are magical. Visiting this special collection of islands, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon an alternate universe. Sea Lions are the heralds for this utopian colony of diverse animal species. The Galapagos Islands have been in danger before, threatened by economic and environmental degradation. The islands are in jeopardy today because of massive tourism growth and smuggled animal species. Both threaten delicate ecosystems and many native plants and animal species. Some of the Galapagos Islands will never be as they are at this moment. Sadly, the environmental condition on some Islands is much worse now than even 10 years ago.
Are any of these spectacular places to visit on your list? I hope reading about their possible fates motivates you to book a trip soon. Where all of them aren’t in danger of completely disappearing, it may become impossible to gain access or experience some in the same state they are in today.
This post originally appeared on Lifehack