On May 26, 2016, Thai officials announced that the beautiful islands of Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui, and Koh Khai Nai will no longer be open to tourists. The breathtaking islands were popular with visitors for their pristine white sand beaches and endangered coral reefs. According to the officials, the beaches are meant to accommodate 70 people at one time, but roughly 1,000 tourists arrived there per day.
They claimed that the large numbers of visitors were causing “the degradation of natural resources and the environment.” Apparently, roughly 80% of the coral reef areas have been destroyed. Although the islands are still around, their natural beauty has been greatly diminished.
Boeung Kak Lake
The Boeung Kak Lake in Cambodia was considered one of the biggest and most important wetlands in the world. Its location and natural beauty turned the area into a thriving tourist attraction. Sadly, the Cambodian government-backed policies which damaged the lake and roughly 90% no longer exists.
Officials filled in those areas with sand in order to turn it into a property development, and in the past few years it has been described as little more than a “puddle”.
Royal Opera House
It seems like the Royal Opera House of Valletta in Malta was built under an unlucky star. It opened in 1866 but was demolished by fire just six years later. The building was rebuilt and renovated but was almost completely destroyed during a German air raid in 1942.
The opera house, which is remembered as one of the most beautiful and iconic structures in Valletta, has gone through several attempts at restoration over the years, all of which were unsuccessful. It was only recently reopened in 2013, but with a different design and the name Pjazza Teatru Rja.
Ancient Religious Sites
In March 2015 militants destroyed the ancient archeological remains of cities Hatra and Nimrud. Kino Gabriel, a leader on the Syrian Military Council has said of these attacks that, “The birthplace of human civilization is being destroyed…” These sacred and historical remains have survived for generations, only to be demolished with no thought to their cultural or religious significance.
It is almost harder to witness the destruction of man’s history by war than it is to watch natural wonders destroyed by climate change. Sadly, humans are responsible for both.
The Mayan Pyramid of Nohmul
The Nohmul pyramid was the most important Maya site in Northern Belize, and experts say that it was at least 2,300 years old. Unfortunately, there is almost nothing left of it today because in 2013, a construction company crew decided to use its rocks and gravel to fill in the roads.
The pyramid, which you can see on the left, was turned into a pile of rubble. The company and the foreman were eventually fined, but that won’t bring the pyramid back.