Even if you didn't know what it was, you've definitely seen pictures on Pinterest, Instagram — and even Game of Thrones — of a spectacular natural wonder that is, sadly, no more.
The so-called Azure Window natural limestone arch had brought travelers to the island of Gozo in Malta from all over the globe, but the attraction recently collapsed into the sea during a storm.
Scientists knew that some coastal erosion was happening, but they didn't realize how imminent the collapse could be. But it happened, leaving locals and travelers heartbroken over the loss.
The prime minister, Joseph Muscat, shared the news with his Twitter followers.
Not only did the arch collapse, but so too did the structures on each side of it. Roger Chessel, a local resident, told the Times of Malta: “Suddenly, the arch collapsed into the sea with a loud whoomph, throwing up huge spray. By the time the spray had faded, the stack had gone too.”
According to the Telegraph, the government made walking across the bridge an offense punishable by a fine of about $1,600 in U.S. equivalent. The environment minister said that there was no man-made intervention that could have prevented the collapse.
This natural attraction in Gozo, Malta, had been a traveler favorite since before the times of social media — remember that ancient history? Since the collapse, people have been taking to the 'gram to pay tribute to the beautiful limestone arch.
The loss is both a bummer for tourists hopeful to one day tick the item off their bucket list, but it's also a tough blow for tourism in Malta, as it was among the most popular attractions.
The tourism minister admitted the arch was a marketing asset that had now been lost.
All told, you've missed the Azure Window — but there's a similar attraction called Wied il-Mielah nearby... which is very likely about to become a lot more popular.
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