Dramatic climate changes that our planet has been recently experiencing, ruthless human expansion, various types of erosion, desertification and many others factors have been permanently altering the landscape of the world. With all the changes happening faster than ever, we might be among the very last generations to see some of the world´s most amazing places and natural wonders. From the Aral Sea to a unique rock formation in Australia, check out these 25 places you must visit before they disappear for good.
Azure Window, Malta
Located on Gozo, the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago, the Azure Window is a limestone natural arch and the most popular tourist attraction on the island. Recent surveys found out that the arch has been constantly disintegrating and geologists suggest the complete disintegration of the arch is just a matter of a few years.
Maldives, a little island country in the Indian Ocean and a popular holiday destination, is the world´s lowest country. With an average ground level elevation of just 1.5 meters (less than 5 feet), the country and its 400,000 inhabitants might soon be washed away by the rising sea level. It’s very possible that the Maldivians will become one of the world´s first climate refugees.
Aral Sea, Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan
While some places are threatened by floods, others suffer from drying out. Located between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea was once the fourth largest lake in the world. But since the 1960s, after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects, it has been steadily drying out. By 2007, it declined to 10% of its original size, splitting into several smaller lakes.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Extending over 4 sq km (1.6 sq mi) on the US-Canada border, the Glacier National Park was once littered with hundreds of glaciers. About a hundred years ago, there were still 150 of them. By 2005, only 27 remained and they are expected to vanish within a few decades. The glaciers have been an important part of the park´s fragile ecosystem, providing home to numerous animal and plant species.
Ko Tapu, Thailand
Translated as the Nail Island, Ko Tapu is a 20 meter (66 feet) tall sea stack towering over the Phang Nga Bay, Thailand. This magnificent rock formation became popular in 1974 when it was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. Since then, it has been visited by masses of tourists and it’s feared that the stack will collapse soon due to its extremely shaky ground.