Villa Epecuen: Argentina’s Ghost Town

 

 

 

 

” Drive six hours southwest of Buenos Aires and you’ll stumble across a scene that looks downright apocalyptic: streets washed away; once proud houses, businesses and hotels reduced to piles of rubbish; greenery replaced by hundreds of chunky, white-washed stumps that reach toward the sun with rotten branches; and graveyards churned up, broken tombs spewing forth rotting carcasses and piles of bones.

This is Villa Epecuen, an Argentine Ghost town that’s slowly emerging from the depths of the neighboring lake for the first time in 25 years.

But soon Villa Epecuen’s growth would come to a screeching halt. In 1980 the area experienced a slow but drastic climate shift that dumped large amounts of rain in the lake. Because Lago Epecuen had no outlet to drain the influx of water, the lake slowly swelled, according to NASA. By 1985 the lake’s waters were already testing the limits of the dike that protected the village. On November 10, 1985 a severe storm blew through the area, causing the water level in Lago Epecuen to swell until it broke through the dike. A torrent of water cascaded into town, inundating the streets. 

Over the next eight years the lake would continue to grow, until eventually, in 1993, Villa Epecuen sat 33 feet below the surface of Lago Epecuen. By then visits from tourists had long since dried out, and all but one of Villa Epecuen’s habitants had left behind their dreams of a life on the lake, according to Vice. ”