La Fortuna, Costa Rica - This country's modern-day Big Bang came in 1968 when its only constantly active volcano, Arenal, woke up from a 400-year geologic nap with a huge eruption that not only displaced thousands of villagers circling the mountain but also disrupted the lives of countless species of flora and fauna. Both Man and all other living things were probably already well adapted to the mobile lifestyle.
Ironically, the Arenal park includes an artificial ecosystem, which turns out to be a good thing (if you ignore the fact that it probably displaced a natural pre-existing ecosystem). Next to the volcano is a dam, built in 1983, which created Lake Arenal, covering an area of almost 90 square kilometers.
The hydraulic energy harnessed from the lake and its surrounding rivers accounts for almost 40 percent of Costa Rica's energy production.
While the dam flooded what was previously the town of Arenal, it also created new life: there are more than 35 species of zooplankton, 14 species of macrophytes and 37 species of fish, predominantly cichlids and livebearers.