Landmarks That Could Disappear In Your Lifetime (2023)


Say goodbye - these are the landmarks that could disappear in your lifetime!
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(Gentle music) - [Narrator] From, the Eiffel Tower to Big, Ben and Lady Liberty.

Our globe is full of iconic monuments.

However, for some pretty earth-shattering reasons.

It seems that many of our world's legendary landmarks that once seemed invincible, could be at risk of being lost.


From the crumbling wall of China, to the teetering Tower of Pisa.

Come join me as we take a look at some landmarks that could disappear in our lifetimes.

(gentle upbeat music), (bell, dings), The, Eiffel, Tower., Ah, Paree., The fashion, the food.

The romance!(coughs) The Parisian culture is certainly among the world's most iconic.


Besides croissants and floods of red wine, there's one thing that undeniably defines France, the Eiffel Tower.

Constructed in 1889, the tower marked the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.


It was only intended to stand for 20 years.

However, given its height, scientists recognized its value as a radiotelegraph station, so it was kept.


How long can a tower that was built to survive just 20 years? Really last? Well, according to some, not much longer.

At 135 years old, this Mademoiselle isn't doing terrible.

Though, due to being made from wrought-iron.

The future could be troublesome for the Eiffel Tower.

You see, when exposed to moisture or oxygen, a chemical process known as oxidation happens to iron.


This process, iron is converted into iron oxide, which is typically reddish and flaky, something we commonly know.

As rust.

If left unattended, the rust will progressively corrode the iron, weakening its physical integrity.

For years.

Now, rust has plagued the Eiffel Tower.

In fact, in 2022, leaked reports carried out by the tower's management revealed.

How, rust is eating away at the iron like termites at wood.


If nothing is done, we could be saying: au revoir to the Eiffel Tower within the next decade or so.

This is because, left untreated.

The corrosion will eventually weaken certain parts of the structure, so much so, that they inevitably collapse.

But with a somewhat laissez faire attitude.

The French government, reportedly just keep painting over the damage every seven years, rather than actually fixing it.

Expert opinion, has it that this is only worsening the corrosion, and if it isn't stripped to the metal and repaired at a deeper level, its structural integrity will become a genuine hazard.


Will the Eiffel Tower disappear in our lifetimes? It's? Certainly possible.

After all, merely covering up up your problems with paint won't make them go.


I learned that the hard way.

(screen whooshing) The Great Wall of China.

At, a staggering 2,241-years-old, The Great Wall of China, is so iconic that it's officially one of the seven wonders of the world.

But long before being a tourist-trap for Instagram snaps.

It was actually conceived to protect the country from violent, invading tribes.

And, while it might have been strong enough to protect ancient China.

Is it strong enough to stand the test of time? Looking at recent snaps like these,? It may seem as if the wall is still in good-condition.

And true, at over 2,000 years, old, the old girl ain't.

Looking too shabby.

However, according to UNESCO, A.K.A., the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, about 30% of the wall has disappeared.

How? Well, firstly.

Natural erosion from the elements has certainly taken a toll on the wall.

And after all, rainwater is typically acidic and naturally dissolves rock over time.


There is one thing, or rather, 10 million things destroying the wall.

Worse than anything, else.

Tourists., Sure, tourists innocently strolling along the wall, taking snaps sounds completely harmless.

However, it's reported by numerous sources, including The Guardian, that many visitors actually take bricks from the wall as a souvenir.


To say that is a slight issue.

According to report by the Global Times, new Chinese regulations state that anyone caught stealing from, or defacing the wall, could be fined up to 5,000 Yuan, which is roughly $720.

But despite the destruction by tourists, there's still another type of erosion to consider.

In recent years, an increasing number of abrasive sandstorms, have taken a toll on western sections of the wall.

So, much so, that, according to China's official state news agency, the wall is being reduced to mounds of dirt, and vast expanses may be completely gone in 20 years., So, better go visit it while you can.

Just, don't steal any bricks., (screen whooshing), The Taj Mahal.

India is a huge country brimming with culture.

From food to fashion, and everything in between, there's plenty to enthral a visitor.


When it comes to landmarks, there seems to be one standout.

Yep, I'm talking, of course, about the Taj Mahal.

Like China's, Great Wall.

This A-list Landmark also finds itself a member of the seven wonders of the world club, but that membership could soon be past tense.

That's, because, astoundingly.

There are plans for its demolition.

Being discussed at the highest echelons of the Indian government.

Built in 1632, the mausoleum was created by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to immortalize his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

But, thanks to its opulent white, marble facade and pointed domes.

The stunning mausoleum quickly became world-recognized, and today attracts around 8 million visitors, annually.

But that could all be about to change.

Thanks to excessive vehicles, burning of coal, dust storms, and forest fires, India is said to be the 3rd most polluted country in the world.

As a result of this, alongside smatterings of algae and insect waste.

The once pearly white Taj Mahal has gradually been turning sickly shades of green and yellow.

Even so.

It seems the local authorities responsible, the Government of Uttar Pradesh, have turned a blind eye, much to India's Supreme Court's disapproval.

In fact, the rapidly-deteriorating quality of India's.

Most prized monument has become such a concern for the Indian Supreme Court, that they have actually presented the Government of Uttar Pradesh, an ultimatum.


They restore the monument, or they have it shut down and potentially even demolished.


To say this would be catastrophic to the city of Agra's economy, and maybe even wider India, considering that since 2019, the mausoleum has generated over 16-and-a-half million dollars just from ticket sales, alone.

So will the Taj Mahal continue to survive? Or? Will it be bulldozed into distant memory? Well,? There are discussions of bans on pollution-causing vehicles and industries in the area, but talks of these kinds have been going on for years, without any real outcome.


It seems for the iconic Taj.

Only time will tell.

(screen whooshing), Underwater, Cities., Climate, change.

Two other C words.

Lots of people don't like to speak.



The concept is becoming more and more real.

Every day.

So real even, that if something isn't done, soon, some iconic places on Earth might be underwater as soon as 2050.

And in a disturbing existential realization for any Gen-X-er and Millennials watching.

2050 is closer in time to us than the early '90s is.


According to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, since the industrial revolution, we've pumped enough greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to raise the Earth's global temperature by one degree, Celsius.

And sure, at their core, greenhouse gases aren't inherently bad, as they help retain the sun's heat, keeping the planet at a useful temperature for life.


Thanks to us.

This natural and harmonious balance of greenhouse gases is now in surplus, meaning that the Earth's natural cycles of climate change are being accelerated to a destructive level.

Icecaps are melting, fast, and in doing so, raising the sea levels, which can only spell-out trouble for we land-dwellers.

A one degree.

Celsius increase might sound inconsequential, but huge changes are already happening.

And scientists reckon that if global temperature should increase by two degrees, Celsius, it'll bring around an unstoppable process that could raise sea-levels in certain coastal areas by an astounding 16 to 29 feet.


This does happen.

It's believed that New York's surrounding waters, for example, would flow over and into the city, causing devastation of many areas of Manhattan's waterfront districts.

Iconic NYC landmarks could be at risk, including Lady Liberty herself, as the water would be firmly creeping up onto her island refuge by this point.

In, the decades and centuries after that.

If ice caps were to melt almost entirely, Lady Liberty could one day be almost fully immersed.

And, while the statue's full immersion is a little unlikely in our lifetimes.

The costly, rising sea levels are nonetheless expected to become a serious problem by 2050.

There's, currently a plan to build a floodgate wall around the lower half of Manhattan.


If the sea levels were to rise by the full 16 to 29 feet forecasted in some regions of the world, they would need to build a wall around the entire city.

If not, New York could become less of a concrete jungle and more of a concrete aquarium.

Further south, you'll find another coastal US city at even greater risk of flooding, Miami, Florida.

Currently at just three feet above sea level, by 2060.

The surrounding sea levels are expected to rise by around 31-inches, according to research from the University of Miami.

And, while this won't entirely wipe out Florida, at least not in that timeframe.

It is estimated that much of Miami Beach and its landmarks, such as South Beach and the art-deco hotels of Ocean Drive, will be uninhabitable within three decades.


These scary, predictions, Miami may be bye-bye-ami by the end of the century.

Another major city in the firing-line is none other than London.

Just like Miami.

It's all about rising sea levels., But, wait, London, isn't a coastal city.

So how could this happen? Well,? The River Thames, which currently runs through the city, is actually tidal, meaning its water-level goes up and down with the tides just as the north sea, which it runs into does.


If global sea levels do rise as projected, according to an interactive map by Climate Central, huge chunks of the city would be left devastated by recurrent annual floods by 2060.

Even Big Ben would be left with his feet in the water.


It did likely take upwards of a century for even certain iconic London landmarks, like the Tower Bridge, to be overwhelmed by floodwaters, London's.

Relative flatness will still put a concerningly large portion of the city at flood-risk in the next four decades.

However, Sarah Smith, an environmental agency flood risk manager in the UK, is hopeful.

These rising floodwaters can be overcome.

Not because the waters won't rise, but because the British government is actually working on necessary defenses for when this does happen, which Sarah is confident will save the Big Smoke.

Named The Thames Estuary 2100 Plan.

The initiative aims to combat flooding leading up to the year 2100, by building and improving the Thames Barrier flood walls and embankments, pumping stations, and flood gates.


It's estimated this will save 320 billion pounds worth of property.

So will London Bridge fall, down? Or will Britannia need to relearn how to rule the waves? Guess we'll have to wait and see.

(screen whooshing) The Dead Sea.

Named, due to its uninhabitable saltiness.

The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest lakes on Earth.

However, in an unfortunate, yet ironic, turn of events.

It would seem the Dead Sea is actually dying.

Dying how? Well, no surprise, it's yet another man-made problem.

But, not so much climate change, this time.

It's, actually to do with the lake's tributary.

A tributary is essentially a river that flows into a much larger river or lake.


This case, the Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea, providing it with water.

According to Professor Abu Jaber, a specialist in the geochemistry of groundwater in Jordan, the Dead Sea used to receive around 200-million-cubic-meters of water per year.

However, during the '60s, Israel began to divert the headwaters for various human uses.

Later on, Jordan and Syria got in on the action too, and this alongside water-evaporating mineral extraction processes in the area has left the Dead Sea with less than 100-million-cubic-meters of water today.

At this rate.

If no major action is taken, the tributaries feeding the Dead Sea are at serious risk of completely drying.

Up by the year 2050.

If this happens, the lake will rapidly deplete to a fraction of its size, and be left to potentially fully evaporate under the increasingly hot middle-eastern sun in the decades that follow.


If we don't want this unique natural landmark to evaporate like a pan of water left on the stove, too long, governments in the region better get their acts.

Together., (screen, whooshing), Stonehenge.

Thought, to be around 5,000 years.

Old, Stonehenge is a formation of ancient bluestone and sarsen rock in Wiltshire, England, deliberately arranged in a circular arrangement.


Theories for the monument's purpose range from burial site to ritual grounds, and it intrigues over 1 million visitors.


But could Stonehenge's days be numbered?.

Of course, like anything exposed to the elements, Stonehenge, is slowly eroding.


But erosion can take thousands to millions of years.

So why should we be worried about Stonehenge disappearing? Well,? Since 1995,? There have been multiple proposals for England's highways authority for an underground tunnel that would connect southeast and southwest England.

Problem is.

The tunnel would need to run beneath the foundations of Stonehenge, potentially compromising its integral structure, and defiling the sacred site.

The government-led project was actually approved by then British chancellor, now, prime minister, Rishi Sunak, in 2020.


This was met with outcry from concerned campaigners who feared the construction could potentially destroy Stonehenge, alongside risking ruining other archeological fines recently found in the area.

And with that.

The decision was deemed unlawful in 2021 by the High Court.

Even so, The Guardian reports that Highways England are still cooking up alternative proposals to get their precious tunnel built.


It looks like this decades-long saga isn't over and our lifetimes could conceivably see.

Stonehenge collapsing into the ground below as the tunnel is built.

Now, would be the time for the grand return of the ancient people who moved those colossal stones into place, given that they were presumably 10 feet tall with biceps, like tree trunks., Those, weedy, British politicians don't stand a chance.

(screen whooshing) Great, Barrier, Reef.


You know the Great Barrier Reef, just off the Coast of Queensland, Australia, is one of the largest living organisms on Earth?, In fact.

It's so big that it's even visible from space.

However, in recent times.

Its greatness has begun to decline with Australian researchers, reporting that the reef's lost half of its corals since 1995.

And at that rate.

It's certainly not unrealistic to say it could completely vanish within our lifetimes.


What's the deal? Well, aside from oceanic pollution, it's largely down to our old pal climate, change.

As, more greenhouse-gases are emitted and the Earth warms.

Not only do our oceans become more acidic, the corals in the water become too warm, which triggers them to expel the algae living inside their tissues.

This causes the corals to turn completely white, a process known as bleaching.

While bleaching doesn't instantly equate to death.

It does leave them vulnerable to disease, stunts their growth and impacts, reproduction, leaving them more likely to die.


As mentioned earlier.

We've raised the global-temperature by one degree.

If that reaches two degrees, climate change.

Specialists, Carbon-Brief, predict that 98% of the Earth's coral reefs will be at risk of bleaching by 2050.

And researchers at the Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

Warn that we must, "Sharply decrease greenhouse-gas emissions, ASAP." If.

We can do so, and slow the rise of global temperatures while reducing pollution and overfishing of coral-supporting fish species.

It's proven that corals can return to health, though it may take decades.

Either way.

It's estimated that if action isn't taken in the next 10 years, the damage could be irreparable.

And, the Great Barrier Reef might become the Late Barrier Reef.

(screen whooshing) The Sphinx.

Having been built around 4,500 years.


The Sphinx in Giza, Egypt has certainly proven to stand.

The test of time.

And among all the relics of ancient Egypt, is one of the most iconic.

That said, being exposed to the elements, isn't without its fair share of wear and tear.

In fact, it's famously lacking a nose.

Which, depending on which sources are true, was either broken during a French military battle in 1798, or removed in the 15th century by a Sufi Muslim named Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr in protest of the worship of idols.

But with centuries of erosion under its belt.

Could the Sphinx disappear in our lifetimes? Well, with the right combination of hazardous weather, it's possible., While rain is rare in Egypt, Meteorologist, Jim Andrews, notes.

There is the occasional torrential downpour, which erodes naturally porous rocks, such as the limestone that makes up the Sphinx.

Not just that, but according to Jim, the salt-laden groundwater beneath the landmark wicks up into the porous rocks, further weakening the structure.

On top of that, high winds and sandblasting are slowly but surely gnawing away at the giant feline structure.


While it stands strong today, it's likely that these factors will eventually lead to crumbling, and if that occurs inside the Sphinx, the structure could collapse.

Now, granted, it'd have to be a very unlucky, specific combo of these factors to trigger this in the next few decades.

So I'm personally, not too worried that this Sphinx will be disappearing in our lifetimes.


It's not impossible.

We can take comfort in the fact that cats have nine lives.

Anyway, right?, (screen, whooshing), The, Leaning, Tower of Pisa.

From, ancient Roman ruins to the Sistine Chapel, Italy is brimming with landmarks.


Perhaps one of the most instagrammable, is none other than The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Beginning construction way back in 1173.

The tower is actually a freestanding bell: tower, as part of Pisa's Cathedral.


And no surprise, was never actually intended to have its iconic lean.


Why does it lean? And more importantly,? Will it ever fall? Well,? The short answer is that when they began construction, they didn't consider that they were building on alluvial soil, a loose soil typically found near rivers.


This resulted in the tower infamously tilting to one side.

Over, the years.

There were attempts to correct the tilt, however.

Nothing seemed to do the trick.

And besides.

After years of being known specifically for its tilt, it was decided that it would be best to keep the lean.

That said, by 1990.

The tower was becoming increasingly tilted, at 5.5 degrees, and was deemed too much of a hazard and was closed.

In the end.

It took $30 million restoration that lasted until 2001, to save Pisa.

They managed to achieve the perfect tilt at 3.9 degrees, by extracting the Earth beneath the shallow side to create a cavity, adding weights to that side, which allowed the pressure to slowly, partially reverse the tilt.

With that.

The most optimistic estimators suggest that the tower may be able to stay put for upwards of another century.

However, that is hugely dependent on it not being struck by extreme natural disasters, like strong earthquakes.

Even, though the tower's low center of gravity makes it somewhat resistant to earthquakes.

They do occur in the area, and one of sufficient strength could conceivably topple the vulnerable tower.

That said, had Pisa not been restored.

It may well have toppled to the ground back in the '90s.

So I'm sure.

The famous leaner is just grateful for whatever extra time it can get.

(screen, whooshing), Kilimanjaro., At, 19,340 feet.

High, Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is the tallest mountain in the whole of Africa.

Kilimanjaro is capped with snow and glaciers, on account of the reduced atmospheric pressure at those lofty heights, resulting in lower temperatures., That being said.

The huge glaciers that once covered the top of Kilimanjaro are rapidly disappearing.

So much so, that between 1912 and 2006, Kilimanjaro's ice sheet shrank by a mind-blowing 85%.

As, you can probably guess.

This is all to do with climate change., As mentioned, the increase of greenhouse gases.

Since the industrial revolution has contributed to the Earth's temperature by rising around one degree, Celsius.

This rise in temperature has caused a combination of melting and evaporation of Kilimanjaro's glacial ice, though not in the way you might expect.


Some change has occurred directly from the increased heat upon the mountain.

Most of the ice-loss has occurred due to the effects of global warming on the Indian Ocean.


Increased global temperature interacts with the ocean to produce more weather.

Events like cyclones, which disturb weather patterns around Kilimanjaro., These weather disturbances, have resulted in less snowfall on the mountain.

Snow, which usually serves the crucial purpose of reflecting the sun's warming energy away from the glacial ice.


These circumstances, as they are, the American Geophysical Union, has claimed.

The glaciers could disappear entirely as soon as 2030.


More optimistic scientists believe they'll stay intact until 2060.

Either way.

It's sadly varied probable that Kilimanjaro's glaciers will disappear within our lifetimes.

So, better climb up there, quick.

If you wanna catch a glimpse., (screen whooshing), R.I.P., U.S.A.

Brewing in the state of Wyoming, sits the Yellowstone Volcano, or rather super volcano.

Unlike, the volcanoes.

You might typically imagine, this one bubbles underground over an area of 30-by-45-miles-wide in Yellowstone, National, Park., Some, more alarmist.

Scientists will tell you.

The colossal volcano is overdue for an eruption, based on the fact that three terrifyingly-huge eruptions have occurred at relatively regular intervals in history.

Each emitted more than an astonishing 250 cubic miles of magma, with one eruption occurring 2.1 million years, ago, another 1.2 million years ago, and the most recent being 640,000 years, ago.

The pattern-spotters among you will be able to see why some are a little concerned.

Word you another, given the time since the last eruption is similar to the time period between the previous three.

However, the truth.

Is, volcanoes are very unpredictable, making it impossible to accurately predict when such an eruption will occur.


If the pressure in the underground magma chambers does build to the point of eruption, what exactly would happen to the America above-ground? Well, if such an event occurred with the same ferocity as those previous three,? It's likely that enormous amounts of volcanic ash, gas, magma, and other volcanic debris, would spew across most of the continental US, reaching as far as Louisiana.

This, fatal plume of hot ash and gases would blast miles high into the atmosphere, blocking sunlight and leaving a third of the continent in darkness, crippling agriculture., Pyroclastic, flows, AKA, fast-moving, rivers of lava and scalding gas, would race outwards into the 50-mile-radius region around the volcano at speeds as fast as a commercial airliner, burying, burning, or shattering anything in their path.

As, the clouds of ash settle.

They would leave parts of the US in as much as three-feet of ash.

This ash would collapse, roofs, contaminate water, supplies, destroy power, lines, and poison, the lungs of survivors.

In previous eruptions.

It's thought that in the aftermath, the volcano collapsed into itself, pulling with it trees, mountains.

Anything else, unlucky enough to be nearby.

All that remains afterwards is a large depression in the ground, known as a caldera.


All this were to happen, there's no saying which or how many US landmarks would be obliterated, severely damaged, or at the very least, made to vanish under a blanket of ash.

Now, before you start panic-buying survival supplies, a good handful of scientists argue, there.

It's not enough fluid magma bubbling below Yellowstone to sustain an eruption comparable in scope to the previous mega-eruptions.


The fact remains: that, truthfully, an eruption of some kind can't be fully written.


Yellowstone could indeed be brewing a storm that might not only happen within our lifetimes, but in the worst-case scenario would end our lifetimes.

We just have to hope that we're all gone before that happens.

(volcano roaring) Oh, sh..

(graphic scattering) (graphic beeping) (upbeat music) Okay, looks like we made it out.


Let me know which iconic landmark you'd be saddest to see.

Go in the comments.


As always, thanks for watching and I'll catch you on the flip, side.

(upbeat music).

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