We live in a beautiful world that is home to millions of wonderful wildlife and stunning mountain and rock formations. Unfortunately, due to climate change, erosion and human interference, we may not have as much time with them as we thought.
And with the iconic Azure Window in Gozo, Malta collapsing into the Inland Sea after a particularly heavy storm on 8 March 2017, Mother Nature has taught us that nothing lasts forever, and we should treasure what we have before it is too late. Our Earth offers countless spectacular sights and phenomena, and few have the privilege to witness them all. For the avid travellers out there, make sure you include these 6 natural wonders in your bucket list.
All we ask is that you be a responsible traveller. As the popular saying goes: “Take only photographs with you, and leave only your footprints, please”.
1. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The world’s largest coral reef boasts a riot of colour, which measures about 2,300km long. The Reef includes a host of lifeform including thousands of species of fish, coral, plants and other sea creatures. Unfortunately, due to global warming and the rising sea temperatures, the corals in the Reef have been subject to bleaching (as the corals expel the algae that give them their colour), and are more likely to die after. The Reef isn’t looking too good now after experience another round of mass bleaching in 2017, the second year in a row since 2016.
2. The Serengeti Plains, Africa
Located in northern Tanzania, the Serengeti is the site of the greatest mammal migration on Earth, with about two million wildebeest crossing it. Unfortunately, the East African Court of Justice ruled that the Tanzanian government are allowed to build a commercial highway right through the plains, which would disrupt the migration process to Masai Mara or cause it to collapse soon after.
3. The Dead Sea, Palestine, Israel and Jordan
The salt lake, which is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world, is known for its healing and therapeutic properties and its water density which lets people easily float while swimming. It is also the world’s lowest point at 430.5 metres below sea level. And, if you have plans to see what the experience is like for yourself, you’d better head there soon, as the Dead Sea is slowly receding, shrinking and is full of sinkholes due to the impact of environmental damage.
4. 12 Apostles, Australia
It’s no secret that the magnificent limestone formations in the state of Victoria are slowly fading. From the original 12, there are now eight left due to harsh and extreme weather conditions. The last one fell in 2005. The structures, which average around 50 metres tall per column, can be seen to “change colour” throughout the day as the sun rises and sets.
5. Machu Picchu, Peru
Situated 2,430 metres above sea level in the Peruvian Andes, the 15th century ruins is one of the most complete ones. Said to be built for the Inca emperor Pachacuti, the citadel was built in 1450 at the height of the Inca empire before it was abandoned due to the Spanish conquest in the Americas. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. Despite restoration works, Machu Picchu has been subject to weather conditions and a large number of tourists.
The island country, which is known for its cerulean waters, luxury resorts and friendly sea creatures and the lowest-lying country on Earth, is in danger of being entirely submerged within the century, if water levels don’t cease to rise.