What if we say that there are places around the world that are near to the extinction? Sounds absurd, but constant man-made interference in nature has brought numerous, especially fragile places closer to destruction. The day is not far when many places will disappear from the face of the earth. We bring you 10 extremely endangered places which might get wiped away from the earth in a mere five to ten decades. Visit these 10 places before they disappear forever from the planet.
1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Yes, you heard it right. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia renowned globally for being the biggest reef sustaining a wide range of marine life will completely disappear by 2050. It is estimated that in the past three decades, more than half of the reef has been lost, due to global warming and coral bleaching. The crystal clear water of the reef is home to over 1, 500 varieties of fishes and corals. The reef covers a total area of 1,680 miles and is a major tourist attraction. A holiday to the Great Barrier Reef will surely be unforgettable as it has spectacular beaches, vibrant marine life and a plethora of adventure activities to indulge in.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is from June to October.
What to do: Activities tourists can indulge in Great Barrier Reef are snorkelling, diving, hot air balloon tours, swimming, scuba diving, beach stroll and reef cruise ride.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Sydney or Melbourne. Board another flight to coastal cities of Queensland like Cairns or Port Douglas, and from there, various tours will take you the Great Barrier Reef.
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2. Franz Josef Glacier, South Island, New Zealand
Franz Josef Glacier located in South Island is probably lesser-known and also less travelled. The glacier is located on the West Coast of New Zealand, right in the middle of a temperate forest with a height of 11,500 feet above the sea level. Since 2000, these glaciers have been melting at a great rate and has receded by 38 per cent and lost 25 per cent of the land area. Environmental scientists fear that by the next 100 years, the glacier will disappear.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is from November to February.
What to do: Tourists visiting Franz Josef Glacier can indulge in a range of activities like hiking, ice climbing, trekking, bird and wildlife watching.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Christchurch and from there, one can drive to the glacier. Franz Josef Airport is the closet to reach the glaciers.
3. The Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
Where to visit before it’s too late? The answer to this is the Amazon forest, which is facing an existential threat. Undoubtedly, the Amazon rainforest is the biggest in the world with a total area of 1.4 billion acres, spread across countries like Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Surinam. This tropical jungle has its diverse ecosystem with numerous species of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to the landscape. The entire Amazon forest alone produces more than 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen. Also, Amazon has one-fifth of the world’s freshwater. Being so vital to the earth, constant human activities have threatened the forest and it is estimated that the Amazon rainforest will be completely wiped out from the face of the earth in the coming 50 years.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is in May and early June.
What to do: In Amazon, tourist will be spoilt for choices – from jungle walk, kayaking, Canopy Bridge Walk, swimming or visiting the local community, the options are endless.
How to Reach: You can take a flight to Manaus in Brazil or Puerto Maldonado and Cusco located in Peru. From there, numerous travel agencies offer a range Amazon tour depending upon the budget of tourists.
4. Komodo Island, Indonesia
Komodo Island in Indonesia is renowned for the Komodo dragon – a giant lizard. The pristine sea and numerous islands around the Komodo are known for its world-class diving spots, coral, volcanic hills, savannah and forests. The Komodo National Park covers the majority part of the island and is home to nearly 4,000 Komodo lizards. At present, there is no significant threat to the coral reef, but constant rise in temperature and acidification of water may kill the beauty and natural diversity of the island. So, before it gets too late, plan a holiday to visit this place before it disappears and cherish memories for a lifetime.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is from April to December.
What to do: Komodo is a beautiful Island and there are numerous activities available. Tourists can embark including swimming, beach walking, island hopping, diving, wildlife and reef exploration.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Bali, from where you can fly or go by boat to Labuan Bajo and finally to the Komodo Island by a boat.
5. Glacier National Park – United States
The Glacier National Park in the United States, once home to over 150 glaciers has now left with only 25 glaciers. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit not only in the US but also in the world. Many scientists claim that by the end of 2030, the park will be devoid of all its glaciers. The National Park is also home to animals like mountain goats, elk and grizzly bear. The disappearing glaciers will have serious ramifications for the region and animals living there. With abundant beauty, scenery and wildlife, this place is a must-visit before it disappears.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is from July to September.
What to do: It is a beautiful place to indulge in a range of activities including backpacking, cycling, camping and wildlife spotting, which ranges from mountain goats to grizzly bears.
How to Reach Take a flight to the Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell, Massachusetts. : By car, tourists can use U.S. Highway 2, 89 and 17 to reach the glacier.
6. The Maldives
Maldives needs no introduction. The country is known for its azure water, colourful fishes, white powdery beaches and luxury resorts. It is the picture-perfect destination for honeymooners and tourists. Those with a penchant for sea-adventure, Maldives is the place to go and enjoy. With beauty engulfing the country from all sides, sadly it is not too far before the tropical paradise will disappear. It is estimated that the entire archipelago could be submerged under the sea by the next 100 years.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is from November to April.
What to do: The Maldives is a sea adventure paradise ideal to indulge in a range of sea adventure activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, backpacking, island exploration and parasailing.
How to Reach: Male International Airport (MLE) connects the island country to the rest of the world.
7. Machu Picchu – Peru
It is hard to believe that the 15th century Inca ruins, which were only discovered at the beginning of the 20th century are on the list of endangered places. This Inca heritage is also in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nestled high in the soaring Andes Mountains, these incredible ruins allure tourists from across the globe. To the dismay of many, it is these large groups of tourists ruining and damaging the ruins of Mach Pichu. Many experts debate that unless these large number of tourists influx is not controlled, it will be too late to preserve the ruins in its real form.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is from April to May and September to October.
What to do: Machu Picchu located on the Andes Mountain offers adventures activities like trekking, nature walk, wildlife spotting and exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco and from there you can go on a planned tour to Machu Picchu. You can also take a bus to Cusco from Lima to reach Machu Picchu. Train services are also available from two stations Poroy station and Ollantaytambo station to Machu Picchu.
8. Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro allures adventurers and hikers to hike its summit. It is a dormant volcano with glacier laden summit, but as expected climate change and global warming are fast depleting these pristine glaciers from the mountain’s summit. For centuries, the volcano has been renowned for its distinguished beauty and pristine glaciers. So, plan your holiday to Mt. Kilimanjaro and experience the beauty before the glaciers become extinct.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is from January to March and June to October.
What to do: Mount Kilimanjaro offers a plethora of activities from trekking to wildlife safari, bird-watching and nature exploration.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Kilimanjaro international airport and from there you can take a taxi or bus to go to the mountain base, a place you need to visit before it disappears.
9. The North Pole
The North Pole is the most vulnerable to the slights climate change. The place is known for its miles of glaciers and snow-covered landscape. The effects of climate change are drastically visible in the North Pole region. Once a complete snow-white landmass, today new terrains and glistening lakes are being formed. It is speculated that with the current changes, the North Pole will never go back to the same as it has been for the million years. Visit this white wonderland and see the spectacle the way it is.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is from May to September.
What to do: Activities to indulge in during the North Pole trip are watching the Northern Lights spectacle and elusive wildlife spotting.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Helsinki, Finland and from there board a charter plane to Murmansk to board the ship heading to the North Pole.
10. Galapagos Island, Ecuador
Galapagos archipelago is a world within itself. This island consists of a variety of flora and fauna, most of them are exclusive to the island like the giant tortoises, cormorant and many. But once an isolated island, today with the influx of human, growing population and activities the island faces an existential threat and is another amazing place to visit before it vanishes. With the rising human activities, environmentalists predict that the island could submerge into the ocean in the coming years.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is from June to November.
What to do: Galapagos Island offers a range of activities to indulge in, ranging from snorkelling, hiking, kayaking, swimming, surfing, horseback riding, mountain biking and panga (Dinghy) ride.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Ecuador. From there, take another flight to Baltra Island and then a bus and ferry to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.
With the constant human interference, the list of places to see before they vanish the earth’s surface is growing. A word like Doom Tourism highlights the plight of these places shouting to be saved by the constant human activities. Visit these places before they completely disappear only to lament after.