Some of the world's greatest wonders are the historical sites that have existed for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. Many of them were lost to human knowledge for centuries before they were uncovered. Thanks to urbanization, natural disasters, and pollution, however, it is likely that these historical landmarks will be lost once more before the end of this century.
Around 10,000 years ago, the ice in the area of Montana's Glacier National Park was about 1.6 kilometers (1 mi) deep. When the park was founded in 1910, there were around 150 glaciers. Only 25 of these giants remain, and it is suspected that all of them might be gone by 2030.
The heart of the National Park, Grinnell Glacier, has lost more than 90 percent of its ice over the past century. It's no surprise that global warming is the cause, but the park seems to be getting hit even worse than other places: The temperature in the area has increased 1.8 times more than other areas around the globe.It's not just the glaciers that are in danger of disappearing. The icy streams that have always flowed from the great sheets of ice keep the ecosystem of the park going, with its wolves, herds of elk, and one of the largest populations of grizzly bears in lower America. If the glaciers go, not only will the last remnant of the Ice Age disappear, several species will find their home in shambles.
The resting places of the mighty pharaohs of Egypt, such as Ramses II and the boy king Tutankhamun, have inspired wonder and awe through centuries. Unfortunately, they have also inspired many treasure hunters who were little more than thieves and plunderers.
But now, the Valley of Kings faces a different kind of threat. This one comes not from greedy Indiana Jones wannabes but several thousand well-meaning tourists. Fungus has begun to grow out of control around the tombs, and scientists believe that the parasite has flourished due to poor ventilation and the respiration of thousands of visitors. The head of Egypt's antiques has reported that the tombs may vanish within 150 years.The engravings and paintings inside the tombs are already beginning to disappear. In response, the number of tourists allowed inside the tombs has been restricted, and some exhibits have been closed completely. Hopefully, these restrictions, along with the use of new ventilation systems in the tombs, will be enough to save them.
It's probably a fair bet that most people haven't heard of the Seychelles, a group of around 115 islands not far from the more well-known Madagascar. They were somehow completely uninhabited by humans until the British East India Company discovered them in the 1600s. After that, they became a haven for pirates. Today, they are known as one of the greatest places to see the biggest fish in the sea: whale sharks. The Seychelles hold some of the earliest scientific records about the magnificent creatures, which are strictly protected.
However, the islands could be underwater in as little as half a century, largely due to the destruction of the coral barriers around the beaches. The Seychelles have fallen victim to one of the most brutal incidences of coral bleaching worldwide. The rising temperatures destroy the coral and leave it a disturbing, almost skeleton-like white, destroying entire ecosystems and leaving everyone who lives on the islands vulnerable to devastating events like hurricanes.
When we think of ancient Greece, most of us think of the Greek gods, Sparta, or the Olympics. While everyone knows that the Olympics were created in Greece, not many people know about the exact city where they were founded.
Olympia has been occupied by several different cults over the years who worshiped several different gods, from Kronos, the King of Titans, to the goddess of lust and beauty, Aphrodite. Over time, one cult claimed the city completely for their god, the ruler of the Olympians, Zeus himself. Nearly everything in the city was designed to honor him, from the magnificent 13-meter (42 ft) statue covered in gold and ivory (which, sadly, no longer exists) to the Olympic games themselves. Today, the Olympic flame is still ignited in this city and then transported to wherever the games are being held.Ironically, it is fire that threatens the origin site of the beloved games. In 2007, several fires that were started by arsonists spread rapidly across the country, killing more than 60 people. The flames were barely contained by a dedicated team of firefighters just a hillside away from wiping out the historic site of the original games. Thanks to global warming, fires have become much more commonplace and much more powerful, threatening to burn the site to a crisp and render all efforts to protect it in vain.
6.The Chan Chan Archaeological Zone
Chan Chan, which enjoys the titles of the largest pre-Columbian city to be discovered and the largest ever adobe city, covers around 20 kilometers (12 mi) of Peruvian land. It was originally inhabited by the Chimu people, who divided the city into nine different citadels, each of which were autonomous.
Chan Chan has also been labeled by anthropologists as the "first true engineering society in the New World." Their projects, such as an irrigation system that supplied the entire city and their attempt to create a massive canal that would have stretched to the Chicama River 80 kilometers (50 mi) north, were unheard of in "civilized" Europe. The city lasted for more than 600 years before the Incan Empire finally managed to overthrow it.Today, this archaeological wonder is under attack not only from those who come to pillage and loot but also from storms caused by the deadly El Nino phenomena. To make matters worse, powerful earthquakes put the city in danger of being crushed completely.