Too much fame kills. And it has included nature as its victim, thanks to Instagram.
There is nothing wrong with posting pictures of your recent getaway on Instagram, but travel photographer Brent Knepper has observed a sad reality – “lesser-known lookouts are suffering under the weight of sudden online fame.”
In his piece at The Outline, he points to some unknown places in the U.S. that were either wrecked or were closed down after some Instagram users posted a picture of them.
Take for example the Horshoe Bend in Arizona. Before Instagram, the place saw only an average of a thousand visitors per year; after Instagram, an estimate of 4,000 people a day came to see one of nature’s amazing works of art in order to take a selfie.
The effect, Knepper said, “has put a lot of strain on the attraction.” In order to accommodate the influx of tourists, local authorities are constructing parking amenities. While this is a good thing, the other side of the coin, however, is that the construction will never replace or replicate “the wild beauty that brought so many here in the first place,” he said.
It is not really Instagram, the platform, that should be completely blamed, but the irresponsible users and visitors such as those who visited Conundrum Hot Springs in Colorado and did something that should have been done in a bathroom.
The Conundrum Hot Springs is one of the famous places that you could find on Instagram, but park rangers had to shut it down last year. Why? Because of human poop.
The Conundrum is a remote place and after several users caught the beauty of it on Instagram, visitorship skyrocketed. And because there were not enough bathrooms, people just poop everywhere.
Park rangers were deployed to solve the pressing issue, in that they have to shovel all the human waste just to preserve the atmosphere of that beautiful place.
And if this is not enough to convince you why you need to think twice before you post your latest vacation trip on Instagram, a heartbreaking situation that happened to Vance Creek Bridge might just open your eyes.
Knepper says the ancient-looking wooden bridge, perfect for a background image of your Instagram caption, is now going to be demolished and that is thanks to an irresponsible visitor who started a campfire that ravaged the whole place.
The bridge was an integral part of the US’ history – it was said to be the second highest railway ever built in order to help the logging industry in Mason County, Washington. Now, what is supposed to be preserved will be forever gone.
“There’s nothing wrong with seeing a cool space on the Internet and deciding to go there. It’s just, maybe, don’t start fires there, and clean up your poop,” Knepper told NPR.