Spain is one of the most culturally and historically rich countries in Europe, and the Cave of Altamira was once one of its biggest draws. Located near the small, historic town of Santillana del Mar in the Cantabria province, the Cave of Altamira was renowned for its prehistoric parietal cave art. The charcoal drawings and polychrome paintings of local fauna and shapes of human hands adorned the cave walls and attracted flocks of visitors from around the world.
Sadly, this historical treasure was closed to tourists in 2002, after the high number of visitors started to damage the paintings by breathing too close to them. This produced water vapor and carbon dioxide that caused the paintings to get moldy. However, a year before its closing, in 2001, tourism officials foresaw the situation and opened a replica cave and museum nearby so people could continue to visit.
Remember the beautiful secret island that Leonardo Dicaprio found in the movie "The Beach"? This paradise is called the Maya Bay and is located in the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand, and it was, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The problem was that, after seeing the movie, Maya Bay got visited by approximately 5,000 people every day, which in turn produced an excessive amount of waste. And so, irresponsible and neglectful tourists caused the Bay to be closed indefinitely in June 2018.
Coral on Christmas Island
Christmas Island is an Australian territory located in the Indian Ocean. The island's 135-sq-km are almost entirely covered by a beautiful national park, and thus offers a wide variety of fascinating wildlife. Home to rainforest, wetlands and flowing waterfalls, this place is often compared to 'paradise on earth'. And one of its most notable features was the mind-blowing coral reef throughout the island.
Thousands of tourists made this little slice of heaven their main vacation spot, waiting patiently for the day they'd go snorkeling in the coral wonderland. But despite climate activists' best efforts, more than 90 percent of the reef was destroyed within a short 10 months. Abnormal heat waves and extremely high temperatures caused some corals to be bleached and others to die.
Among the vast Altiplano Mountains in Oruro, Bolivia, you could find Lake Poopó, once the country's second-largest lake. Located at an altitude of approximately 3,700mts, Lake Poopó was a saline lake that once served as a scenic spot for tourists and an important landmark for the miners of the region.
The lake dried up in 1994 but was completely revitalized by heavy rains. Unfortunately, even though the lake was declared a conservation site in 2002, it had dried up completely for the second time in December 2015. Largely due to climate change (such as the melting of the Andes glaciers), unmonitored mining and agriculture also contributed to the lake's disappearance. And it doesn't seem the lake will recover this time around.
Situated in the beautiful U.S. state of Oregon, Duckbill was once a very popular destination for tourists and locals alike. In what seems like a story almost too ridiculous to be true, the impressive sandstone rock formation was destroyed as part of a "revenge" plot.
On August 29th, 2016, a group of people vandalized the fence and toppled the monument because one of their friends had apparently broken a leg there earlier. Unfortunately, the people responsible were never caught, and the stunning formation along the Oregon Coast was lost forever.