The Town That Sank... And Rose In Argentina

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


by Anna Henderson (source)

I recently came across this fascinating story on Discovery News about a town that can only be called a modern-day rediscovered Atlantis. In a strange twist, instead of being engulfed by water due to climate change, this coastal city has re-emerged from the water because of it! 

About 560 km from Buenos Aires in Argentina, Villa Epecuen was a popular resort town from the 1920s-1980s thanks to the incredible Dead-Sea-like salt content of the lake it was built on. Bathing in the lake was supposed to help with circulation problems and skin issues. 

The town's prosperity came to a sudden halt in 1985 when a huge storm caused a nearby dam to burst, sending a steady stream of water into the town. After two weeks, the water level was 6 feet high, and by 1991 (no one was seriously harmed in the flood), the town was completely submerged under 10 metres of water! (Check out the NASA satellite images here). 

by Anna Henderson (source)

Recently however, the climate of the region has changed and there was a terrible drought in the area. By 2013, the once-elegent buildings, trees, and cars of the town were almost all on dry land again (albeit covered in a think layer of salt).

Now, the debris has been cleared away to make the eerie main streets walkable for the visitors that come from all over to see the remarkable site.

It's crazy to think that this entire process occurred within living memory — many of the town's former residents still live nearby and one (Pablo Novak) has even returned!