When Microbes Attack… World Landmarks

Travel Blog  •  Joanna Kakissis  •  06.26.08 | 12:37 PM ET

Photo by gbaku via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Historical sites from the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia to the Parthenon in Athens are under siege from bacteria, which are blackening, cracking and defacing monuments, The New York Times reports. Can scientists stop them? Many are optimistic, others not so much. “We have to accept that at some moment [the monuments] will disappear,” said Thomas Warscheid, a geomicrobiologist based in Germany. “But we know a lot about how to conserve them for the next 20, 30 years.”

Joanna Kakissis's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, among other publications. A contributor to the World Hum blog, she's currently a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

1 Comment for When Microbes Attack… World Landmarks

Ling 06.27.08 | 6:38 AM ET

So how come these microbes only like historic monuments? Maybe we could send a few of them to eat away at a Wal-mart or something. You know, do some good…

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.