Have you heard of 'Doom tourism'? They are essentially about travelling to places that are potentially endangered, or “doomed” towards extinction, due to natural and/or man-made causes. Some even call it last-chance tourism, visiting destinations because you believe they won’t last long. We bring you our top 5 places.
Amazon Rain forests
Or the Amazon Jungle is a tropical rainforest in the Amazon biome and includes territory that belongs to nine nations, with the majority contained in Brazil. It represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests and covers the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world, with an estimated 390 billion individual trees divided into 16,000 species, rare and dangerous species of animals and birds and is home to various indigenous tribes.
It remains a favoured tourist destination for the last 100 years but looks like the rainforest is on the verge of extinction. In the last 10 years, it has witnessed deforestation, habitat destruction, logging, cattle ranching, climate change and hunting also leading to the extinction of animals and birds and loss of millions of acres of the tropical rainforest. With ecotourism, one is hopeful of maintaining the natural environment of the Amazon and protecting the remaining life, along with adventurous travellers to experience and take part in its revitalization.
Galapagos Islands at Ecuador
Situated at the shores of Ecuador this island is a veritable treasure trove of exotic wildlife. Giant tortoises, Galapagos spiders, Darwin’s Goliath Centipede, Sally Lightfoot Crab, Great frigatebird, Rice Rat, Galapagos Sealion, Galapagos penguin, Marine iguana, Blue-footed booby etc are the must-see animals of the island which was dubbed by Charles Darwin as “little earth”. Unfortunately, the flow of tourists into this island remains a cause of worry for the islanders who fear they will destroy the natural habitat. Over 1,60,000 tourists are visiting Galapagos yearly which will affect its ecosystem. Also, illegal Chinese fishing in the Island is a threat to its biodiversity.
The site of the Ancient Olympic Games, this small town in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, famous for the nearby archaeological site of the same is also a great tourist pilgrimage to visit their once-majestic temple columns. Other attractions include the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, the Archaeological Site, the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games in Antiquity, and the Museum of the History of Excavations in Olympia. But today it is in danger of being wrecked by forest fires. The scorching heatwave and low rainfall don’t help either. We suggest making that trip soon enough.
If you are surprised to see Venice on this list, you better believe it because this floating city is truly sinking. That too at an alarming rate of 1 millimetre per year. Not only is it sinking, but it is also tilting to the east and battling against flooding and rising sea levels. Last year’s unusual floods were proof enough. Though they are installing project mobile floodgates to combat floods, the weather forecasts experts aren’t convinced about saving Venice from doom. The plan is to line the bottom of the Venetian lagoon's three entrances with a series of 79 hollow steel gates that would be raised to hold back the sea in times of aqua Alta. But yes, the earlier you talk a walk through those city squares the better.
Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni, in southwest Bolivia, is the world’s largest salt flat with the legacy of a prehistoric lake that went dry, leaving behind a desert-like area for nearly 11,000 sq km. the landscape of bright-white salt, rock formations and cacti-studded islands. At times it's like a giant mirror in here. During the rainy season when lakes overflow and cover this salt flat with water, it's like a shining piece of a giant mirror, reflecting the sky. This place is also dubbed as the world’s largest mirror. Lithium which is used to make laptops, smartphones and electric cars are mined here. And that’s exactly the reason why this land is getting extinct.
Note: If you are worried about making a trip after reading this, don’t be, just travel safe and responsible for keeping the safety protocols in mind. You will not regret it.