10 Treasures We’ll Lose as Sea Levels Rise

Statue of Liberty
Water rose as high as the Statue of Liberty's pedestal during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Tatiana Belova/iStock/Thinkstock

Lady Liberty stands tall at the mouth of the New York Harbor welcoming visitors, immigrants and residents to America's largest city as a proud symbol of freedom and democracy. Dedicated in 1886, the 305-foot (93-meter), 450,000-pound (204,117-kilogram) statue was a gift from the people of France as a sign of friendship with the U.S. and in recognition of its successful creation of a democratic society.

The Statue of Liberty was created by the French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi out of sheets of hammered copper, and the steel framework was designed by French engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, who later designed the Eiffel Tower, The torch-wielding statue was the first thing millions of immigrants saw as they approached nearby Ellis Island and remains one of the world's best-known landmarks [History.com].

Superstorm Sandy left Liberty Island (the home of the statue) 75 percent underwater in 2012 – the only thing showing was Lady Liberty and her pedestal [source: Rizzo]. That gives you a foretaste of what could happen permanently in the future if climate scientists are correct.