12 Natural Wonders Lost to Time

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The Aral Sea, Central Asia:

Once the fourth-largest lake in the world, the Aral Sea has shrunk by over 70% since the 1960s due to Soviet irrigation projects that diverted the feeder rivers.

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The Great Barrier Reef, Australia:

The world's largest coral reef system is facing unprecedented challenges from climate change, ocean acidification, and pollution.

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The Valley of Geysers, Russia:

This geothermal wonderland in Kamchatka was home to hundreds of geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles. However, a powerful landslide in 2007 caused the main geyser field to be flooded, and many of the geothermal features were destroyed.

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The Ténéré Tree, Niger:

Once a lone acacia tree standing tall in the vast Sahara Desert, the Ténéré Tree was a landmark for caravans and a symbol of resilience. Sadly, it was knocked down by a drunk driver in 1973.

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The Athabasca Glacier, Canada:

One of the toes of the Columbia Icefield, the Athabasca Glacier has been rapidly retreating in recent decades. Scientists estimate that the glacier could disappear entirely within the next century.

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The Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland:

The largest glacier in the Alps, the Aletsch Glacier is also retreating at an alarming rate. The meltwater is contributing to rising sea levels and disrupting local water supplies.

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The Aztec Empire Canals, Mexico:

The Aztec Empire built a vast network of canals and chinampas (raised agricultural beds) to support their growing population.

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The Hanging Gardens of Babylon:

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were said to be lush, tiered gardens built by Nebuchadnezzar II.

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The Colossus of Rhodes:

A massive statue of the Greek god Helios, the Colossus of Rhodes was one of the wonders of the ancient world. It was destroyed in an earthquake in 226 BC.

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The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus:

One of the largest Greek temples ever built, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was destroyed by a fire in 356 BC. It was rebuilt several times, but eventually fell into ruin.

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The Library of Alexandria:

One of the greatest libraries of the ancient world, the Library of Alexandria is believed to have housed hundreds of thousands of scrolls and codices.

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