16 Things We Didn't Realize Are Disappearing



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Voting Rules
Vote up the things you'd really like to stick around.

There's little doubt humankind is the number one threat to the wellbeing of the planet. As humans evolve from one stage of civilization to the next, we force the world around us to change as well. This results in a loss of plants, animals, and even our own inventions.

Ask yourselves when the last time you left a note in cursive was, or when you last saw a payphone. It might take a minute to recall that memory. The loss of pay phones and cursive writing may not have a huge impact on the world but some of the other things on this list surely will. Take a look below and let us know which of things you really wouldn't want to see go. 

  • 1
    747 VOTES


    Observations of the American bumblebee have declined by 90% over the past 20 years. The Endangered Species Act protects two species of bees at the moment - the Franklin’s bumblebee and the rusty patched bumblebee. The American bumblebee may be next on the list. 

    While bothersome to many people, bumblebees are, like many animals, an important part in the natural pollination system of our ecosystem. Loss of habitat, pesticide poisoning, and disease have the bees on a downhill run. They’ve currently disappeared (or nearly so) from 16 states and counting.

    747 votes
  • 2
    730 VOTES


    Fireflies are often associated with summer, backyard adventures, and camping. These tiny insects used to light up the sky, but due to light pollution, human encroachment, and pesticide use, you may have already noticed the summer nights are a little less bright.

    The insects, known as fireflies, lightning bugs, or glow-worms in various parts of the world, are actually beetles, and scientists believe they've been around since the dinosaur era - over 100 million years ago. But now they are disappearing from long-established habitats.

    Despite their apparent longevity as a species, fireflies aren’t resilient bugs and are picky about their habitat. People are encouraged to take action in their backyards that may help fireflies stick around. This includes things like planting a garden, turning lights off, leaving logs to rot, and refraining from using lawn chemicals. 

    730 votes
  • 3
    653 VOTES

    Tigers are among the world’s most recognizable animals. Yet in the very near future it’s possible the only way people will be able to see a tiger is in a picture or video. 

    Sunda tigers, the tigers we generally picture, with black stripes and orange fur, are already extinct in their native homes in Bali and Java. The last remaining group (of around 400) can be found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, but as deforestation continues in addition to poaching, it’s likely we’ll lose these creatures in the next 10 years. Tiger parts and products are also part of the illicit wildlife trade that threatens many other species. 

    653 votes
  • 4
    661 VOTES


    While you might catch one of these little birds speedily flapping in your garden, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has declared eight species of hummingbirds critically endangered. This classification signifies a 50% chance of the species becoming extinct in the next ten years. One of these species, the Turquoise-Throated Puffleg, may have already gone extinct - there have been no confirmed sightings since the 19th century.

    Human encroachment and deforestation are a huge reason for the birds' endangerment and there seems to be no end in sight for these destructive practices. 

    661 votes
  • 5
    548 VOTES

    Some of the world’s largest chocolate companies have warned that a chocolate shortage could be much closer than we all think. Apparently, people are consuming more cocoa than farmers are able to produce. 

    As if a supply and demand issue isn’t enough, climate change is making it difficult to produce the amounts of chocolate that once was doable. A fungal disease called frosty pod has also wiped out chocolate crops in recent years, destroying between 30 and 40 percent of cocoa crops. Farmers are having to turn to growing other crops in an effort to ensure their livelihood. 

    While genetically modified crops are a possibility in the future, it’s likely the chocolate taste we’ve all come to know and love will be compromised. 

    548 votes
  • 6
    540 VOTES


    When walking into a grocery store, most of us see a fully stocked banana section and don’t realize that we’re very close to losing this sweet fruit for good. Most of the world eats one type of banana called the Cavendish, grown in the warmer regions of the globe such as Latin America and the Caribbean. 

    Like humans, these bananas have been facing a pandemic of their own. They are under attack from a fungus called the Tropical Race 4, AKA Panama Disease. The fungus is making its way around the world destroying banana crops with no end in sight. While scientists are looking for ways to combat the fungus, most of these require genetic modification of the crop. This comes with its own set of challenges, since most countries have unique laws regarding genetically modified food. 

    The Cavendish banana industry is worth around $25 billion, and since all Cavendish bananas are genetic copies of one another, this fungus looks like it could very well collapse the entire crop.

    540 votes