Tourist attractions that no longer exist!
Sometimes picking a destination for vacation, is hard. There are plenty of destinations to choose from. But these seemingly countless options won’t be there forever! Tourist destinations in the past were different from today. Throughout history, many places and tourist attractions got destroyed and wiped out of existence for different reasons. Some places like the Roman Empire broke apart, faded gradually, others vanished suddenly because of weather exchange, or a disaster (like an earthquake) or by our own hands!
For example, many cultural and tourist attractions in Africa and other places in the world were destroyed due to takeovers and during wars. Some other tourist destinations like those in Syria were completely robbed out or destroyed because of poor management or maintenance.
Meanwhile, some tourist attractions were created from scratch. Destinations were added to the list that didn’t exist maybe 1 or 2 decades before. Dubai would be an iconic example which is one of the most attractable destinations in the world right now, but nobody knew anything about it half a century ago.
We’re appreciated to have new attractions around but it’s not easy to say goodbye to some others. We’re going to take look at tourist attractions that sadly aren’t the same or don’t exist anymore!
Jonah’s Tomb (Iraq)
One of the oldest mosques in history dates back to 640 AD. This historical site was lost to war in 2014 when ISIS planted explosives. Now ruins are the only thing that could be found in the place. That was the oldest mosque in Mosul and traditionally believed to be the tomb of Jonah the Prophet.
Jonah is a known figure in both Islam and Christianity. Besides Jonah’s Tomb, many other places and attractions were destroyed in the heat of the war in Iraq.
Oregon Formation (US) a lost tourist attraction
Oregon Formation is an 18 million-year-old dock head-shaped rock. It was one of the major tourist attractions in the Pacific Northwest. The rock was sculptured by the process of weathering and erosion. This rock was so popular and some of them, unfortunately, expressed their excitement by climbing the rock. Finally, Oregon State Parks put up some barriers but it wasn’t enough. In 2016, it was found crumbled. Some believe it was nature while some say it was humans and not nature, referring to the short footage showing vandals toppled the Duckbill rock!
The New York Hippodrome (US)
The New York Hippodrome once was the largest theater in the world. It opened to the public in 1905 with a seating capacity of almost 5300 people. It became the stage for some of the greatest acts like Jumbo and Harry Houdini. In 1925 movies were added to attract even more people. But it fell short of competition with bigger and newer movie theaters. Finally, the life of the giant theater came to an end just after 17 years and the owners decided to refashion it to become a movie theater, then an opera house and even a sports arena. But none of them saved the New York Hippodrome because The Great Depression in 1939 took it down and now it’s a modern office building.
Guairá Falls (Brazil)
Guairá Falls was one of the most stunning natural wonders in the world. It was by far the greatest waterfall, even greater than Niagara Falls. 50, 000 cubic meters of water passes through the falls every second. That’s 2 times bigger than the water volume of Niagara Falls! It was truly the largest waterfall in terms of volume on earth. And that was exactly the reason it doesn’t exist anymore. In 1982 the second largest hydroelectric project to date (after Three Gorges Dam in China) completed and Itapúa Dam was built. That was the end of the story for Guairá Falls. The greatest present waterfalls on earth that lured many people around the world, is just a hydroelectric power station on Upper Parana River. Guairá Falls was consist of 18 falls and its sound could be heard from 40 km away.
The Tree of Ténéré
Why this tree was a tourist attraction? Because it was in the middle of the desert. Not only that, but it was also the only tree for over 400 km. probably the loneliest tree in the world. The Tree of Ténéré was on Ténéré region of Sahara desert and in northeast Niger. It was also a landmark for locals for centuries.
It was living its life until in 1973 a drunk Lycian truck driver knocked it down. Now the tree itself is resting in peace in Niger National Museum and simple metal sculpture is replaced, representing the tree once was there.
The Azure Window, Gozo (Malta)
, you probably have seen this stunning formation before, Weather you recognize it or not. It was a natural wonder that was the subject of many photographers around the world. The natural arc was 28 meters tall on the island of Gozo in Malta, south of Italy. The rock formation was created by the collapse of a sea-cave. It was featured in so many famous movies and games like The Game of Thrones, the Count of Monte Cristo, the Clash of Titans, etc. in 2017, a heavy storm hit the island and after the storm, it was clear that The Azure Window was gone as the arch was collapsed
The Chacaltaya Glacier (Bolivia)
The Chacaltaya Glacier was once the highest ski resort in the world. It was one of the most popular ski resorts at 5300 meters and tourists were on the cloud literally. However, climate change changed everything there. Since the 1990s, scientists noticed the effects of global warming on the glacier, leading to melting down. They predicted that the glacier would eventually fade away by 2015. But it happened 6 years earlier in 2009 and one of the most amazing ski resorts in the world was gone for good. The ski resort that was open all year round is now a vacant place.
Nazca Lines (Peru)
Nazca Lines are probably the most famous geoglyphs forms on earth. It’s estimated that these lines belong to 2000 years ago. They are series of images scratched on the surface of the reddish land and lines are 10 to 15 cm deep. The lines form different shapes which is best seen from the air. The largest of them all is 370 meters long. The lines are mostly showing pictures of animals and plants. It seems they were part of rituals and their religion. But in 2014 Nazca Lines were drawn to the world attention because of a different matter. Some activists found these lines a good place to show their protest somehow! So they created their sign next to one of the lines (hummingbird) by grinding rocks into the sandy soil and damaged it for good. Unfortunately, they weren’t the only ones who damaged it. Some drivers drove on the place while even walking without special shoes is prohibited! In 2018 a truck driver drove his tractor-trailer off the road. He was caught but then released because of a lack of evidence. But his tire marks are left in place.
Torres Del Paine National Park (Chile)
Torres Del Paine National Park is famous because of its magnificent rock formations and view. This park has witnessed many fire accidents. In 2005 the park caught fire because a tourist used gas stove while even camping is forbidden in the park! The fire lasted 10 days! About 7 percent of the park was burnt down.
But it was just the first one. In 2011 another fire accident happened because a tourist made a small fire for himself (then it wasn’t for himself anymore). The fire ended soon thanks to the rain. But as it wasn’t enough, another accident happened that year with a toilet paper. Park closed down for 4 days. Another fire happened in 2015. With all those fire accidents in such a short time, now those stunning landscape of the park is not there anymore.
So the next time you’re going out to visit tourist attractions, keep in mind that they are very vulnerable even if they don’t seem so.
Do you think those who intentionally ruined our beautiful world should be punished? Is our law clear enough about the consequences of destroying the world by our hand?!