17 Things That Are Disappearing From the Planet

Thanks to things such as climate change and the development of technology, things are disappearing from the planet—many of these at an alarming rate, particularly those from the environment. Here are 17 things that are disappearing from the planet.


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Iberdrola writes, “Biodiversity has declined at an alarming rate in recent years, largely as a result of human activity.” Human activities like land use, pollution, and climate change are accelerating biodiversity loss. The EU has even set a target for 2030 to ensure that it’s reduced by 30%.

Coral Reefs

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Coral reefs are threatened by the ocean becoming acidic, and this has been caused by rising sea temperatures. Coral reefs help to support marine life, provide food for millions of people, and protect coastlines from erosion. Restoration projects and reducing carbon emissions are crucial to protecting reefs.

Ice Caps and Glaciers

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Global warming is causing the rapid melting of ice caps and glaciers, which contributes to rising sea levels. Freshwater melting into the sea also affects wildlife habitats and global climate patterns. There are efforts in place to reduce carbon emissions, as this is vital for slowing down the melting.


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Rainforests are disappearing quickly, and this is due to human consumption. For example, Rainforest Concern writes, “The ever-growing human consumption and population is the biggest cause of forest destruction due to the vast amounts of resources, products, and services we take from it.” More sustainable land management policies will be needed to prevent deforestation.

Freshwater Resources

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Pollution, overuse, and climate change are affecting our freshwater resources. Water scarcity means less water for humans to drink, less water for agricultural needs, and the possible extinction of freshwater fish and other animals living in lakes and rivers. We can manage freshwater supplies through conservation and technology.

Animal Species

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Animals are becoming extinct due to habitat destruction, poaching, and climate change. There have been conservation methods put in place, such as habitat restoration and anti-poaching laws, but still, animals are at risk. Each species plays a unique role in their ecosystems, affecting biodiversity and human well-being.

Insects, Including Pollinators

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The Royal Horticultural Society writes, “If action is not taken, pollinator declines will have serious implications for biodiversity, food production and the ornamental garden.” There are many contributors to insects disappearing from the planet, such as pesticides, habitat loss, and climate change. Insects are crucial for pollination and also as food for other animals.

Marine Life

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Overfishing, pollution, and climate change have all affected marine life and have caused it to start disappearing from the planet. Sustainable fishing practices have been put in place, and there are marine protected areas to help with conservation. Marine life is vital for global food security and maintaining healthy oceans.

Traditional Cultures and Languages

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Globalization and assimilation pressures mean that traditional cultures and languages are being lost. It’s important that we preserve cultural heritage and promote the use of different languages to ensure all parts of the world stay unique and diverse. There have been efforts to document dying languages and cultures to help keep hold of what we can.

Fossil Fuels

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MET Group tells us that we will run out of gas in 53 years, oil in 51 years, and coal in 114 years. That’s because fossil fuels are non-renewable, so once they’re gone, then that’s it. The world is transitioning to renewable methods of energy, such as solar power, and it’s crucial that we continue to develop this.

Clean Air

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Air pollution means our air isn’t as clean as it once was. This pollution is caused by industrial action, burning fossil fuels, and the use of vehicles, and this has meant that global air quality keeps declining. Clean air is needed for our health, climate, and ecosystems. There are policies in place to reduce emissions and transition to clean energy sources.

Soil Health

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Soil health is disappearing thanks to deforestation, intensive farming practices, and pollution. Without healthy soils, the food we plant, such as vegetables or grains, will struggle to grow. Soil health is also important for supporting biodiversity, as it keeps the environment alive. There have been sustainable farming practices put in place and soil restoration plans.


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Wetlands are quickly disappearing thanks to climate change and urban development. This is supported by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, which writes, “Over the last 300 years, a staggering 87% of the world’s wetlands have been lost. During this time, hundreds of thousands of hectares have been drained to provide land for housing, industry and agriculture.”

Peace and Security

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Global peace is constantly threatened because of war, terrorism, and geopolitical tensions. It means that it’s becoming harder and harder to feel secure in our home country, or even anywhere in the world. It’s important to promote peace and security to help with humanitarian efforts.

Privacy and Data Security

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As technology has become more prominent in our lives, it also means there are increased risks to our digital security. We could be scammed or have our personal data hacked into, sometimes without knowing. Protecting data requires strong security measures and making the public more aware.

Traditional Medicine

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WHO writes, “For centuries across countries, people have turned to traditional healers, home remedies, and ancient medicinal knowledge to address their health and well-being needs.” As pharmaceutical medicines have become readily available across the globe, it has threatened more traditional forms of medicine, even though traditional methods can still be beneficial.

Nighttime Darkness

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Light pollution is drastically reducing the visibility of natural nighttime darkness. Urbanization and excessive artificial lighting diminish our ability to maintain our circadian rhythm. This kind of pollution also disrupts the natural behavior of nocturnal animals, which can lead to ecological imbalance, and prevents us from seeing stars, galaxies, and other astronomical objects.

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