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There are many magnificent sites around the world that are currently under threat. Either through the ravages of time or because of tourism, or a combination of both, they are doomed to destruction.
Here we present 8 such sites that you really should visit before they vanish for good. If you do want to visit them, be respectful at perhaps consider viewing them from afar.
RELATED: 11 MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN THE WORLD TO GO STARGAZING
What is doom tourism?
Doom tourism, as defined by sites like djaunter.com, "involves travel to places that are potentially endangered, or “doomed” towards extinction, due to natural and/or man-made causes. Such sites may include the rapidly-disappearing coral of the Great Barrier Reef or the melting glaciers of Patagonia."
We have highlighted eight other potentially "doomed" sites later in this article.
What are the top 10 vacation destinations?
TripAdvisor recently published a report on the top ten most visited places in the world. Some of the entries should come as no surprise, but there are some interesting choices.
According to the report, the following were the most popular places to visit in recent years: -
1. London, United Kingdom
2. Paris, France
3. Rome, Italy
4. Crete, Greece
5. Bali, Indonesia
6. Phuket, Thailand
7. Barcelona, Spain
8. Istanbul, Turkey
9. Marrakech, Morocco
10. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
What is the best country in the world to visit?
This is a rather personal choice, but according to sites like traveltriangle.com, some countries to consider visiting are as follows: -
- Sri Lanka.
Where is the most beautiful place in the world?
Once again, this is "all in the eye of the beholder". But there are many, many beautiful places to visit around the globe.
These include (credit to aol.com) : -
- Cliffs of Moher, Ireland.
- Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach, Australia.
- Antelope Canyon, Arizona.
- Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil border.
- Moraine Lake, Canada.
- Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.
- The Gower, Wales, UK (author's personal addition).
- Cappadoccia, Turkey (also the author's personal addition).
8 vanishing places to visit before its too late
Here are but 8 vanishing places in the world you should visit before it's too late. But, be warned, the very act of tourism is mostly to blame for many of these places being under threat.
If you do visit, be respectful and, in some circumstances, just admire from a distance!
1. Venice, Italy
Venice in Italy is one place you need to visit before it is gone forever. This famous city, once the centre of trade and commerce of Europe is slowly, but inevitably, drowning.
Severe floods in recent years also appear to be accelerating this city's demise.
2. Great Wall of China, China
The Great Wall of China is one of mankind's greatest engineering achievements. Sections of it have stood the test of time for well over 2,000 years but are now threatened by destruction.
Recent over-farming near to it has led to almost two-thirds of it being damaged or destroyed. Some have estimated the entire structure could be reduced to ruins within 20 years.
3. Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
The Amazon Rainforest is one of the natural world's great habitats. It stretches for well over 2.1 million square miles (5.4 Million km2) and is home to countless species of animals, plants, and microbes.
But this great forest is under threat of destruction. Expansive agriculture is putting increasing pressure on this precious natural sanctuary.
4. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is one of the world's oldest and most celebrated religious sites in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, its great attraction, and beauty could be its downfall.
Its ancient stones are being eroded away under the pressure of the many tourists who visit it every year. On second thought, it might be best you give this one a miss - or just look at it from a distance.
5. Petra, Jordan
Petra in Jordan is one of the world's most iconic landmarks. This half-built city is, unsurprisingly, one of Jordan's most popular tourist attractions.
A combination of wind, rain and tourist contact is slowly causing its magnificent facade to be eroded over time. So, like many things in life, if you do visit, look don't touch!
6. Timbuktu Mosques, Mali
The mosques of Timbuktu in Mali, specifically their walls, are mainly made out of dried mud. They date back the 14th and 16th Centuries are rightfully a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But, being mud, they are highly susceptible to temperature and moisture fluctuations over time. As these both rise in the region, the walls are seriously under threat of destruction.
7. Machu Pichu, Peru
The magnificent once lost city of Machu Pichu was the crowning jewel of the once all-powerful Incan Empire. But it now attracts millions of tourist every year.
This far exceeds the nominal limit of 2,500 visitors per day set by UNESCO.
Natural erosion, landslides, and excessive tourist interaction are slowly, but surely, leading Machu Pichu on a path of destruction. Again, if you do visit be respectful of the site.
8. Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal in India was built as the ultimate embodiment of a husband's love for his wife. But this magnificent mausoleum is now under threat of destruction.
Erosion and pollution in the local vicinity are threatening the buildings very survival. If nothing is done to rectify this it could be lost forever.