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: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea