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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Purchasers

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...

Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Broker / Purchaser

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Call Centre Manager - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative online car purc...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'