16 Things We Didn't Realize Are Disappearing

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List 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
    716 VOTES

    Fireflies

    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. 

  • 2
    731 VOTES

    Bumblebees

    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.

  • 3
    650 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. 

  • 4
    650 VOTES

    Hummingbirds

    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.