5.The Galapagos Islands
Everyone who's taken a high school biology class knows about Charles Darwin and how he was inspired to devise his theory of evolution while studying the wildlife of these secluded islands. Nearly 9,000 species, many of which can be found nowhere else in the entire world, call these islands home. However, the wildlife that makes the Galapagos so unique is being seriously threatened.
As the number of immigrant workers and tourists has increased, the latter by more than 12 percent every year, so does the number of invasive species. Goats and pigs eat the food that the native species need to survive, and predators such as rats make off with the young and the weak. For thousands of years, there were no predators at all on the islands, and evolution works too slowly for many of these unique animals to hope to catch up in time.
4.The Chersonesos Archaeological Site
Though it is located in modern-day Ukraine, southwest of the Crimean Peninsula, Chersoneos is actually an ancient Greek site, founded between 300 and 200 B.C. However, much like Ukraine currently, it was not a peaceful site. Though it was one of the few relatively democratic societies at the time, historical records have shown that this city-state was constantly at war against the Scythian people and the Roman Empire. It eventually lost its independence to the latter.
In the fifth century, most of the Greek buildings and temples were destroyed as Christianity became the dominant religion. However, even becoming part of the Byzantine Empire was not enough to save the society, as nomadic tribes raided and burned it around eight centuries later.The Soviet Union discovered the site when they annexed Crimea in the 1800s. It was rigidly protected and reconstructed, becoming one of the most important sites for Russian historians and archaeologists to study. Today, it is under attack by both natural and man-made forces, as coastal erosion, pollution, and urban encroachment threaten its destruction.
The name of this district of Manilla, which is the second largest city in the Philippines, means "within the walls." It's a very appropriate moniker, considering that it has been guarded by the same walls since they were built in the 16th century despite the horrific damage and destruction they have endured. It was the original capital of the city, when the Spanish Empire still owned the territory.
During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded the Philippines. Manilla was hit especially hard, and several historical buildings within Intramuros—such as the Santo Domingo Church and the original University of Santo Tomas—were ravaged. However, the real destruction occurred when America fought to take back the city from Japan. After this attack, only 5 percent of the original structures were left standing, and 40 percent of the walls had turned to rubble.In 1951, Intramuros was declared a historic monument. Slow progress has been made toward its restoration, including the return of its five original gates to their former glory. However, these ancient walls cannot keep out the modern world. Several franchises of Starbucks and McDonald's have been erected around the ancient city, and the moats surrounding it have been converted into golf courses. Historians tremble at what will come next.
Hisham's Palace was buried underneath the sand in A.D. 747 and remained there until Palestinian archeologist D.C. Baramki began excavating it in 1934. Sadly, historians fear that the site might not be around in as few as 100 years.
Intriguingly, no one is quite sure what Hisham's Palace is supposed to be. When it vanished from sight, it also seemed to vanish from any historical text. The only hint archaeologists have found is a chunk of pottery bearing the name "Hisham." Baramki's colleague, Robert W. Hamilton, has argued that this is proof that the palace belonged to the heir of the caliph, Al-Walid II. All we really know for sure is that it was definitely built in the early eighth century and destroyed by a massive earthquake.Tragically, we might never know the palace's secrets. It's threatened by the massive expansion from the neighboring, modern Jericho as well as extremely vulnerable to the natural elements after being buried under the sand for so long. The sand appears to be seeking to claim it yet again.
有趣的是，没有一个明确的证据表明希沙姆宫到底是什么样的。当它从人们的视线中消失的时候，似乎也从历史文本里被抹杀掉了。唯一的线索可能就是考古学家发现的印有"希沙姆"字样的陶器。Baramki的同事Robert W. Hamilton解释说，宫殿应该属于哈里发瓦利德二世的继承人。我们真正能肯定的是，它建于8世纪初而毁于一次大地震。不过，我们可能永远不会知道王宫中的秘密了。它面对的主要威胁来自于邻国的军事扩张——杰里科（译者注：以色列最早于1977年开始生产两级杰里科-2弹道导弹），而且它已经被掩埋在沙土下这么长时间，更是极易受到自然因素的破坏。沙尘似乎向世人宣告着，这座古城终究会回归尘土。
This city has been a World Heritage Site since 2001, but it has been around since the 14th century. Lamu was one of the original Swahili settlements, founded on the east coast of Africa, and it's still inhabited to this day. During its golden age, Lamu was one of the biggest cities around, a scholastic center of arts, politics, and literature. The city later became an important strategic location for both Germany and Britian, and it only gained its independence along with Kenya in the 1960s.
Although Lamu has been a bustling town filled with people for many centuries, people nowadays are doing their best to avoid or leave it. In 2011, travel to Lamu was banned due to several kidnappings carried out by the terrorist group Al Shaabab, who claims vengeance for stolen Muslim lands as its motive for the kidnappings as well as several brutal assaults on the city just this year that have left many dead. The terrorist attacks make it all but impossible to preserve historical sites such as Lamu Fort.
虽然许多世纪以来拉姆一直是一个繁华热闹的城镇，但现在，人们都想尽办法远离它。 2011年，由于恐怖组织Al Shaabab带来的影响，人们被禁止进入拉姆，恐怖分子声称要报复夺走穆斯林土地的人，对城市发动了疯狂的袭击并造成大量的人员伤亡。恐怖袭击事件使得像拉穆堡这样的遗迹不可能再得到很好的保存。