Top Destinations You Should Visit Before They Go Extinct
Our planet is vast — so vast, in fact, that you could explore it for a lifetime and still miss out on thousands of jaw-dropping views. In our modern day and age, you can simply book a plane flight and, before you know it, could find yourself in front of an ancient, decaying ruin that would still leave you breathless.
Though this comes with a downside — our planet is so vast that 7.5 billion people live on it. This means that most (or some) of those people could do the same thing as you: explore and discover. What’s the downside, then?
Well, all these destinations are fragile. Whether damaged by tourists or eroded through harsh winds, here are the top four destinations you should absolutely consider exploring before they might just disappear off the face of the earth.
Mount Kilimanjaro, also known as “the roof of Africa,” is a 19,341 ft (5895 m) mountain on the northern border of Tanzania. About 11,000 jobs are supported by the income generated from all the mountain climbers and tourists! Even though Mount Kilimanjaro is not the hardest mountain to climb, great caution is still advised.
The beautiful snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro, peeking through the clouds and serving as a beacon for all adventure and exploration enthusiasts from hundreds of miles around (and even more, thanks to the internet!), are, unfortunately, melting.
Almost 85% of Kilimanjaro’s ice and snow has disappeared between October 1912 and June 2011, leading experts to believe that its snowy blanket will be completely shed by 2033.
While Mount Kilimanjaro will never become extinct, its beautiful snow-capped peak will. Brave explorers should absolutely consider paying a visit to its summit before it sheds it snowy cloak — though if climbing a mountain is too much for you, take a look at our next destination.
The Taj Mahal (meaning Crown of the Palace) is a white marble mausoleum commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It harbors the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess who died while birthing the emperor’s 14th child. The Taj Mahal was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India.”
The world’s most famous monument to love, however, is in danger of collapsing. Besides being plagued by environmental pollution, drenching the tomb in acid rain and slowly turning it yellow, the Taj Mahal’s structural integrity is in shambles. As the Yamuna river’s water level is decreasing, the tomb’s wooden foundation is now starting to rot due to a lack of water.
Experts say that the Taj Mahal could collapse by the end of our current decade. Whether this is true or not, the fact that the Taj Mahal is in danger is very clearly outlined. All you lovebirds and hopeless romantics should pack your bags and visit the tomb, as this long-lasting testament of love might very well cease to exist in the upcoming years.
The Republic of Maldives is not only reputed for being one of the most attractive honeymoon destinations of all time, but also for being the lowest country in the world, being a mere 1.5 (5ft) to 2.4 (7,8ft) meters above sea-level. This chain of 26 atolls is under danger of sinking due to rising sea-levels, though the government is taking measures to ensure that does not happen.
Nevertheless, the Maldives are in danger of going extinct. The white sandy beaches and transparent turquoise waters of the republic could soon be swallowed whole by the dark waters of the Indian Ocean, which means that you might just have a couple of years (or less) left for exploring the islands.
Never been to the Maldives before? Here’s your excuse.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is one of the most well-known salt lakes in the world, bordered by Jordan, Israel and Palestine. Also being one of the most salty locations on earth, being on average 9 times saltier than the ocean, the Dead Sea is a great source of salt and minerals that are commonly used in the cosmetic industry.
The Dead Sea is shrinking, however, as its main tributary, the River Jordan, is being drained and diverted to human settlements. In the past 50 years, the lake has managed to lose one-third of its size — and as if that wasn’t enough, it has also managed to sink 12 meters (40ft). Because of this, the western shore is pockmarked with countless sinkholes.
The Dead Sea might not be dying, as it’s already dead — but it absolutely is drying. If you’ve never been to the Middle East, there is no better location than the Dead Sea, a lake reputed for curing psoriasis and osteoarthritis.
There’s only a handful of truly memorable locations on this vast planet of ours. Even though their future might be grim, there’s still time to take in the stunning grandeur. No better time than the present to get out and explore. Happy travels.