It's important to stop and take a look around every once in a while, because this crazy world of ours is changing faster than we can keep up. Need proof? Check out these photos:
1. The Great Barrier Reef
"Coral bleaching" caused by rising sea temperatures turns normally colorful, healthy coral into white, dead-looking coral which is actually barely alive. By last year, 90% of the Great Barrier Reef had bleached, and as much as 50% of the coral could be dead for good.
2. Palmitas, Mexico
To attract tourists to this boring hillside town, the Mexican government hired a street artist named Mabe to redecorate, and the stunning results speak for themselves. The 65,000 square foot mural covers 209 homes and took 2 months to finish.
3. Passchendaele, Belgium
This massive World War 1 battle stretched on for almost 5 months, and at least 400,000 men lost their lives fighting for a crucial railroad junction near the Belgian town of Ypres. In dramatic aerial photos, you can watch the tiny village of Passchendaele disappear from the map after being caught in the middle of the fighting.
4. Burning Man
These shots of the Burning Man festival in Nevada are another aerial view that shows what humans can do in just a few weeks. Each year festival-goers help build and later take down the temporary city of Black Rock, with its own roads, buildings and event spaces.
See how different Dubai looked just a few years ago on the next page!
5. Maju Deval Temple, Nepal
An example of how drastically a natural disaster can change our world, these extraordinary temples build in the 17th century were turned to rubble when the country was hit by an earthquake in 2015.
6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
After the Gulf War in 1990, Dubai re-branded itself as a city that thrived on global tourism, and the city's transformation since then has been incredible. The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is just one of the modern city's incredible attractions.
7. Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine
During the Euromaidan protests in 2013 and 2014, Independence Square was ground zero for protests against the country's government, and the endless confrontations turned it into a war-zone. Today it's ready to welcome tourists again, and the transformation is like night and day.
8. Animas River, Colorado
This river is popular with locals for tubing, kayaking and swimming, but it definitely wasn't during a chemical spill in 2015. Waste from a nearby gold mine turned the river orange. Today, it's back to normal.
9. The Atacama Desert, Chile
No, gardeners weren't busy planting flowers between the time these photos were taken. The normally barren desert sprang to life a few months after some unusually heavy rains came to the region, dumping 14 years worth of water in a few days.
10. Soldier Key, Florida
This tiny 200 yard island is just 6 feet above sea level, so it's no surprise that it was totally swamped by hurricane Andrew, as you can see in these before and after pictures.
Find out why a beach is overrun with gross green slime every year on the next page!
11. The Temple of Bel, Syria
Located in historic Palmyra, Syria, this ancient temple was built in 32 AD and stood until 2015, when it was destroyed by the Islamic State. Somehow, the arched door at the temple entrance survived the attack, and is still standing today.
12. The Yellow Sea Beach in Qingdao, China
This picturesque spot for swimming and suntanning is ruined every summer when rising ocean temperatures send up waves of stinky, rotting algae. As gross as it sounds, some locals make the best of it and go swimming in the algae.
13. Your Local McDonald's
Now here's a blast from the past that's close to home: compare how different the fancy electronic menus at your nearest McDonald's are from the ones you grew up with.
The prices on this vintage menu alone are enough to make you do a double-take. It's a snapshot of the restaurant sometime in the '70s, before the chain even had drive-throughs!
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