Salton Sea is an inland saline lake nestled in the Sonoran desert, formed when the Colorado River burst through poorly built dams in 1905. A booming beach town formed around the lake in the ’60s. But runoff from local agriculture led to algae bloom and pollution, and soon destroyed the water.
The town, once hailed as the new Palm Springs, deteriorated into a post-apocalyptic ghost town. You can still go check out the eerie abandoned houses, the “International Banana Museum,” and see the lake, which is still the largest in California. (California is currently planning to invest $383 million in rejuvenating the sea with ponds and wetlands.)