11 Popular Tourist Attractions That No Longer Exist Because We’ve Destroyed Them
Today the popularity of tourist attractions depends a lot on social networks. 50% of travelers reported that information and advertisements on the internet influenced their travel plans. But this growing popularity isn’t good for the attractions at all. And it’s not just because of garbage or graffiti on walls that are left by tourists. People can cause damage in different ways from simply breathing to intentional destruction.
Bright Side wants to show you 11 popular sights which were ruined by people for various reasons.
1. Maya Bay in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
This spot became popular among tourists after the movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio. At that point it was seeing around 5,000 people every day. So in June 2018, it was closed indefinitely for recovery.
2. Coral on Christmas Island, Australia
In just a 10 month period, more than 90% of the reef was destroyed. Some corals were bleached and others died. This happened because of heat stress which is caused by climate change.
3. Guaíra Falls on the Brazil-Paraguay border
This beautiful place was a cascade of waterfalls. In 1982, they were flooded by the reservoir formed by the hydroelectric Itaipu Dam. And the rocks there were removed with dynamite.
4. Cave of Altamira in Spain
It was closed to visitors in 2002. Big touristic groups damaged the paintings by simply breathing and producing water vapor and carbon dioxide which made some of the paintings get moldy. In 2001, a replica cave and museum was built nearby to allow tourists to enjoy the reproductions.
5. Chacaltaya Glacier in Bolivia
This glacier formed over 18,000 years ago and was one of the highest in South America. Since 1980, its area began to decline rapidly and in 2009 the glacier disappeared completely due to global warming.
6. Nohmul Pyramid in Belize
This 2,300-year-old Mayan pyramid was destroyed in 2013 by the De-Mar’s Stone Company using bulldozers. The limestone from this pyramid was used to fill roads with gravel in a nearby town. After an investigation, the excavator driver, the foreman, and 2 of the company’s managing directors were punished with fines.
7. Lake Poopó in Bolivia
This lake completely dried up in 2016 due to climate change and the nearby development of agriculture and mining. It is noteworthy that this is the second disappearance of the lake. It dried up for the first time in 1994, and was later revitalized by rains.
8. Wedding Cake Rock in Australia
This rock became very popular in 2015 and had to be closed due to concerns about its stability. But the closure, the fines, and even the police presence still does not prevent tourists from jumping over the fence in pursuit of a photo. The rock will remain closed until it disappears for natural reasons.
9. Reef on the Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia
1600 square meters of coral reef was destroyed by cruise ships in 2017 and it may take decades for their recovery. The damage to this place, that is popular among divers, was estimated to be around $18.6 million.
10. Duckbill, Oregon
This rock formation was a popular tourist attraction until August, 29 2016. A group of people penetrated the fence and destroyed the natural monument because earlier their friend had apparently broken their leg there.
11. Pont des Arts in Paris
This famous bridge was so full of love locks that their total weight was about 45 tons. The government, fearing for the state of the Seine because of the number of keys thrown into it and puzzled by the possible collapse of the bridge, had to remove tens of thousands of locks and put glass panels up so that people could no longer lock their love there.
Bonus: Popular attractions in danger
You might be surprised to see that The Great Wall of China is on the list of attractions which could be ruined soon. It was created for defense and the amount of tourists walking over it is causing serious damage. Along with this attraction, the Colosseum, the Dead Sea, Venice, and even Antarctica are also under threat.
People leave a lot of garbage, draw graffiti on the walls, try to take a piece of the attraction with them, and pollute the environment without thinking about the attractions or their future. We’re not suggesting that people not travel, we just want everyone to be mindful that we should be taking care of these places together and showing due respect. And who knows, maybe some decades later there will be no lists of destroyed touristic places.
What do you think about people’s impact on these and other attractions? Do you see any ways to reduce it? Share your opinion in the comments.