The 'real life Atlantis': Eerie photographs capture Villa Epceun - the Argentinian town that spent 25 years underwater

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Eerie images have captured a deserted village once dubbed the “real life Atlantis” after it spent over 25 years under water.

Click here or click View Gallery to see the photos of Villa Epceun

Until the 1980s, Villa Epceun was a thriving tourist hotspot 350 miles south of the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires. All that changed on November 10, 1985 though, when a prolonged period of heavy rain caused the salt water lagoon that brought so many visitors to the area to burst its banks, submerging the entire village in 30 feet of water.

The village's 1,500 residents scrambled to leave the area, leaving behind many treasured belongings, including dogs, cats and other pets that were never seen again.

But 27 years later the waters have almost entirely receded and, as always with buildings abandoned in a hurry and explored decades later, the first photographs of the so-called “town that drowned” revealed an eerie ghostworld, a strange glimpse of a bygone era.

In one image a collection of glass bottles sit in a rusty box, while others show several small, rusty beds beneath layers of rubble - presumably taken in what was once a boarding school or children's hospital.

Roads can still clearly be made out, particularly around the town's slaughterhouse and its religious monuments.

A laundrette, complete with tumble dryers and washing machines, can be seen in one image but, as with much of the rest of the town, the sheer force of the water that engulfed it has left the area in ruins.

Perhaps the most incredible story about Villa Epceun, however, is that despite the destruction all around the town, one of its former residents has already moved back in.

Speaking to The Independent, the village's sole occupant Pablo Novak said he spends his days cycling around the ruins, remembering his home town's “glory days”.

The 81-year-old  said: “I got used to life on my own... I decided to stay because I spent my youth here, I went to school here and also started a family here. So it seemed quite normal.”

Mr Novak says that in recent months, more and more visitors have been returning to the area, some to view the waterlogged village, while others return in an attempt to salvage possessions they never thought they'd see again.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Media Sales - OTE up to £30,000

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border