These photographs depict an old tourist town in Buenos Aires, Argentina called Villa Epecuen. It was established in the 1920s on the banks of a salt lake and housed around 5,000 permanent citizens. They welcomed up to 20,000 tourists per season.
The town was particularly popular because the water in the lake was about 10 times saltier than the sea, so people, especially Jewish visitors, enjoyed doing the dead sea-esque, floating on the surface thing.
Back in 1985, a dam and a dike burst, thanks to some wet winters and a particularly zealous downpour. This caused 33 feet of water to splurge it’s way through Villa Epecuen‘s booming little streets. Initially, people were happy to sit tight on their roofs and wait for it to trickle away again. But it didn’t. So they left the town abandoned.
The waters began to recede again in 2009 to reveal this pretty creepy, ex-underwater world.
Amazingly, one resident has remained in the now desolate Villa Epecuen throughout. Pablo Novak was the only person not to leave his hometown when the water swallowed it up in ’85. He lives in a stone hut with a fridge and a basic cooker. He is a dude, but probably quite a lonely dude, I would imagine.