Villa Epecuén was a tourist village located in the Buenos Aires Province of Argentina. Built in the shores of Lago Epecuén, a mountain lake with salt levels 10 times higher than the ocean's and known for its therapeutic powers, it reached a population of 5,000 in the 70's. There were 280 businesses, including lodges, guesthouses, and hotels.
On November 10th, 1985 long lasting wet weather conditions caused the enormous volume of water to break through the rock and earth dam and inundated much of the town under four feet (1.2 meters) of water. By 1993, the slow-growing flood consumed the town until it was covered in 10 meters of salt water.
Nearly 25 years later, in 2009, the wet weather reversed and the waters began to recede. The ruins of Villa Epecuen started coming back to the surface. Only one local, the 81-year-old Pablo Novak returned back to his old town.
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|The former slaughterhouse of Villa Epecuen, Argentina, among a stand of long-dead trees|
|Rusty bedframes poke out of the rubble of a building in Villa Epecuen|
|The front end of a ruined vehicle after more than 25 years of being immersed in salt water|
|A ghost forest at dusk in Villa Epecuen|
|The road leading to the cemetery of Carhue, near Villa Epecuen|
|81-year-old Pablo Novak, the lone inhabitant of Villa Epecuén|
|A man compares a photograph of Villa Epecuen taken in the 1970's with the current state of the place, after almost 25 years beneath the water of Lago Epecuen|
|Lakeside At Lago Epecuen in the early 1980s|
|Villa Epecuen circa 1984|
Photos: 1, 27-28 lostresorts.com, 2-8 dr_pablogonzalez/flickr.com, 9-26, Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images/theatlantic.com