Former Lakeside Town Slowly Emerges After 25 Years Under Water (Video)

January 12, 2015 Updated: January 12, 2015

The remains of Villa Epecuen, an Argentinean town southwest of Buenos Aires, are slowly emerging after 25 years of being flooded out by the waters of nearby Lake Epecuen.

The town was established in 1920 as an access point to the popular Lake Epecuen which contained water 10 times saltier than the ocean. The water was thought to have healing properties for mental and physical ailments.

It also attracted Buenos Aires’ Jewish community because it reminded them of the Dead Sea in Israel. The town grew through the 1970s to include a population of more than 5,000 people and 300 businesses.

However, a wet climate shift in the 1980s filled the lake to the point where the water broke through the dike and flooded the town. The wet weather continued until the town was submerged under 33 feet of water in 1993. By that time, few inhabitants remained and many had relocated to the nearby town of Carhue.

Then in the early 2000s, the climate shifted again–this time, to one of severe drought. By 2009, the water started to recede and slowly revealed the lost town and its eerie inhabitants of tree stumps, washed out streets, and piles of rubble.