Nature magnificently creates examples of magnificent wonders, but it is not afraid to ruthlessly destroy them. Nature’s law is to constantly establish change, but seeing natural icons vanish before our eyes is disheartening. There’s really nothing we can do about it except try to preserve what’s left and remember the natural wonders that no longer exist. Here is a list of ten incredible natural wonders that are no longer in existence.
Larsen C Ice Shelf
The Larsen Ice Shelf, a long ice shelf in the northwestern part of the Weddell Sea, is divided into segments. The Larsen segment was the C segment, which was Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf. Because of global warming, the 44,200-square-kilometer shelf separated in July 2017.
The entire ice shelf is named after Carl A. Larsen, a Norwegian whaler captain who sailed along the ice front in 1893. Originally, the shelf covered 33,000 square miles. It began narrow in the southern half, widened toward the Antarctic Circle to the north, and then narrowed again.
The Larsen C was located in the lower middle section of the ship. Between the 10th and 12th of July, 2017, nearly 12% of this segment broke away, totaling approximately 2,240 square miles.
The shelf disintegrated after being struck by a slow-moving rift from the northwest. The rift began at 70 miles wide in August 2016 and had grown to more than 125 miles wide by the time it reached Larsen C.
Previously, other segments suffered a similar fate. Larsen A, the northern section, disintegrated in January 1995, and Larsen B, the upper middle section, disintegrated in March 2002. As a result of these destructive events, only 40% of the original Larsen Ice Shelf remains today.
A volcanic eruption and its lava flow completely destroyed Kaimu Beach and the small town of Kaimu in Hawaii’s Puna District in 1990. The most active volcano in Hawaii erupted, burying the beach in 50 to 70 feet of lava and destroying the nearby Kalapana community.
Kaimu Bay, Kaimu Beach, and the small town of the same name were world-famous prior to the disastrous event of 1990. The beach was known for its black sand and was surrounded by palm and coconut trees that provided shade.
The lava from the volcanic eruption flowed to the shoreline for several months, completely burying the beautiful beach and bay.
Despite the fact that the original beach could not be restored, the locals are determined to build a new one on the same land. After more than 20 years, the lava flow has subsided and the land is ready for use. People have begun to grow ferns and coconut palm trees on the stark black sand and lava rocks to recreate the beach ambiance.
There is also a photographic exhibit of the 1990 event that forever changed the fate of the small town. Despite this, the narrow beach is still not swimmable due to strong currents and dangerous surf. It will take years to restore the beach to its original condition.
The Jeffrey Pine of Sentinel Dome was a beloved landmark in Yosemite National Park. Drought killed this beautiful tree in the late 1970s, and it eventually fell over in 2003. It lived for 400 years, but all that is left of it now is its bleached wood.
This gnarled old tree, perched atop a 8,122-foot sentimental dome, appeared to be growing out of seamless granite. The iconic tree withstood every storm that the Sierra Nevada had to offer. As a result, it was bowed horizontally like an old man.
Hikers used to happily trek 2.4 miles from Glacier Point Road just to catch a glimpse of the tree and pose for a photo with it. Nobody knows how it got its roots in such a remote part of the granite dome.
It even piqued the interest of early photographers such as Carleton Watkins in 1867 and Ansel Adams in 1940.
The pine had died in 1976-77, but park officials did everything they could to keep it standing for another three decades. It is thought to have finally collapsed on August 10, 2003, after a storm hit the area.
The “Azure Window” was a 28-meter-tall natural arch off the coast of Malta on Goza Island. The arch was a popular tourist attraction on the island and was featured in several international films. On March 8, 2017, the island was hit by bad weather, which shattered several natural features, including the Azure Window.
It was also known as the “Dwejra Window” because it looked like a pillar rising from the sea and connected to a side cliff by a horizontal slab.
The classic arch has appeared in a number of international television shows and films. It was featured in the first episode of the hit HBO show Game of Thrones.
The Azure Window is thought to have been formed recently in the 19th century when a sea cave was destroyed by erosion.
In 2013, studies on the life of the limestone arch were conducted, and it was discovered that even if exposure to erosion is unavoidable, the arch will take a long time to collapse.
Officials had posted a sign warning people not to walk on the landmark, but this advice was frequently ignored.
When a large wave hit it from below, the window finally collapsed into the sea in 2017.
The Slims River vanished due to the retreat of the Yukon glacier in Canada. The river was the primary source of water for Kluane Lake, and it flowed through the enthralling Slims Valley, which no longer exists. This occurred because the Kaskawulsh Glacier receded to the point where its meltwater exited the valley in an entirely different direction.
The same glacier that once fed the Slims River is now emptying into the Bering Sea. It has now retreated to the point where it has altered its course. It connected with the Kaskawulsh River, which flows south to the Gulf of Alaska.
In modern parlance, this phenomenon of one river stealing the flow of another is known as “river piracy.” Geologists are well-versed in river piracy but have never witnessed it in action. According to the researchers, this was the first time something like this had occurred in the last 350 years.
One of the conclusions drawn from the event was that the Slims River only existed for a short period of time, i.e. it was a 300-year-old hydrological whim. The majority of the Kaskawulsh River meltwater was diverted into the Slims Valley, and thus it began to flow in 1700. The settings have returned to their previous state, and the river and valley have vanished.
Old Man of the Mountain
Atop the Cannon Mountains in Franconia, New Hampshire, there was a series of five granite cliff ledges collectively known as the “Old Man of the Mountain.” When viewed from the north, they appeared like a profile of a human face. The iconic stone face in the Notch State Park collapsed on 3 May 2003 because of continual erosion.
Locals expected the “Great Stone Face,” also known as the “Great Stone Face,” to fall, but the news shocked even geologists. The rock formation stood 1,200 feet above Profile Lake and was 40 feet tall and 25 feet wide.
It was a symbol for the Abenaki and Mohawk peoples, and the state of New Hampshire regarded it as a cultural icon.
Francis Whitcomb and Luke Brooks were the first to notice that it looked like a profile of a man in 1805. Later, in 1832, Nathaniel Hawthorne visited the granite outcrop, and in 1850, he published “The Great Stone Face,” a short story inspired by it.
It was already a popular tourist attraction by the mid-twentieth century. For years, efforts were made to keep the formation together and keep it from collapsing.
Even though the Old Man of the Mountain no longer exists, people still visit the location and stand on a profiler based on their height, imagining the formation that once stood there.
The Wall Arch was a natural sandstone arch located in Utah’s Arches National Park. On the night of August 4, 2008, one of the park’s most photographed natural arches collapsed. It was on the popular Devil’s Garden Trail, but no one saw it fall. The arch is said to have collapsed due to erosion.
This free-standing arch was ranked 12th in size among the park’s more than 2,000 arches. Entrada Sandstone, a type of slick rock, was used to construct it. The arch, which stood 71 feet tall and had a 33.5-foot-wide opening beneath it, was unmistakably the result of wind erosion.
Lewis T. McKinney was the first to report it and name it the Wall Arch in 1948. When the arch collapsed, the debris temporarily blocked the Devil’s Garden Trail, but no visitors were injured.
On the 7th of August, geologists and researchers discovered stress fractures in the leftover rock formation. It was stated that the arches are only temporary features of nature, succumbing to the forces of gravity and erosion.
A nearly vertical 12-meter-high rock face known as “Hillary Step” existed near the summit of Mount Everest, nearly 8,790 meters above sea level. It was one of the most difficult parts of climbing the world’s highest peak, as well as the final challenge. The step, however, was reported to have vanished on May 21, 2017, and it is believed that it collapsed as a result of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake.
Edmund Hillary was the first person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest in 1953, and the rocky outcrop was named after him. The step is undeniably difficult to cross, but the path has recently been made easier by the installation of ropes.
Tim Mosedale, a British mountaineer, was the first to confirm the step’s disappearance. He even announced it on social media. There have been a few reports over the years about the alleged destruction of the step.
The rock formation, however, was confirmed to have been destroyed by a snow blast. The disappearance of the Hillary Step is thought to have made the ascent to the summit easier. At the same time, this may result in limited access to the section.
Now, the climber may have to wait in subzero temperatures while others make their move on the same bottleneck path first.
A Nepali climber argued that the step is still in place, but due to previous records and photographs, it is widely assumed that it has vanished.
Basking Ridge White Oak Tree
A 600-year-old white oak known as the “Basking Ridge White Oak Tree” stood in the churchyard of the Presbyterian Church in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The 97-foot-tall tree was possibly the world’s oldest white oak, but it died in 2016 and was eventually cut down the following year.
It was the oldest white oak tree in North America, if not the world, and it lived long before the town was built around it. Its branches reached 150 feet in length, and its roots were firmly planted in the Revolutionary War cemetery.
The body of the vintage tree was removed, but its roots remained in the cemetery. The tree began to deteriorate and was declared dead in 2016. It fell by itself. However, the church had already decided to cut it down.
The crew worked for three days to remove the elongated branches. All that is left is the massive stump and its roots.
The church stated that they intended to save every piece of the old oak. The wood will be turned into crosses or precious mementos to be given to church members.
Pioneer Cabin Tree
The Pioneer Cabin Tree was a giant sequoia in California’s Calaveras Big Trees State Park. It was undoubtedly one of the most famous trees in the United States, attracting thousands of tourists throughout the year. The tree, which measured 33 meters in diameter, was thought to be a thousand years old, but its exact height was unknown. It died in 1859, but it fell and disintegrated during a storm on January 8, 2017.
More than a century ago, the old tree was carved into a living tunnel that saw cars and horses pass through it for years. However, near the end, only hikers were permitted to pass through it.
On a normal day, a storm hit Nevada and California, causing flooding and mudslides in some areas. The ancient tree was felled by what was most likely the region’s worst storm in a decade.
The tree had been one of the most popular features of the park since the late 1800s, and after the storm, only a single branch remained alive at the top. It was one of the park’s few tunnel trees built in the nineteenth century. Back then, the living sequoia was cut into tunnels to promote parks and encourage tourism.
The trail where the tree lay was completely flooded after the storm. It appeared to be lying in a pond or lake.