‘It’s a once in a lifetime experience’ according to the US News & World Report’s 2016-17 survey, ranking the planet’s best tourist destinations. The top position holder is not Paris, or London or New York, but Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Earth’s seven natural wonders, this coral reef in Queensland in northeastern Australia is the largest living thing on the planet, and is even visible from outer space.

The Great Barrier Reef, covering an immense area of over 340,000 sq. kilometers, includes 150 mangrove islands, 600 continental islands, and 3000 coral reefs. Sadly, this amazing natural wonder is under threat now due to rising temperatures caused by global warming. Erin Shields, travel editor for US News says, “Travellers need to see it soon, because there might not be much left in some years’ time.” Scientists have predicted that it will cease to exist in a span of two decades.

Getting back to the list, Paris ranks second after the Great Barrier Reef, and following in third position is Bora Bora in French Polynesia, with the magnificent Italian city of Florence coming in fourth.

Image credits: tourist-destinations.net