If you're thinking of building a tourist town, you could find a worse spot than the shores of Lago Epecuen, a salt lake about 600 kilometres southwest of Buenos Aires in Argentina.
At least, that's what the residents thought back in the 1920s when they started moving in. Things got off to a good start: they soon had a railroad, and people were coming to visit.
By the 1970s, the town's population was 5,000, and it sounds like it was a nice place to live. But then, the weather changed. The Atlantic says "a long-term weather event" started delivering a lot more rain than normal to the region.
A lot of rain generally isn't much fun. But when you're located that close to water, it can be a disaster.
A slow-growing flood started to approach the town. In 1985, a dam broke, and the water filled the entire town.
By 1993, the water had reached a depth of 33 feet. The town was totally submerged.
Finally, by 2009, the weather trend had reversed. The water receded, and the town started to appear again.
Of course, 25 years under very salty water takes its toll. Many of the town's remains are coated in a layer of salt, and it hasn't been kind to any cars that were left behind.
AFP photographer Juan Mabromata visited the town a while back and took these otherworldly shots, including one of 81-year-old Pablo Novak, the only resident of Villa Epecuen. Here he is:
Apparently Novak left along with all the the town's residents when the flooding hit. But he has since returned, and says he doesn't mind living a solitary existence.
"I am OK here. I am just alone. I read the newspaper. And I always think of the town's golden days back in the 1960s and 70s," Novak said.
Although much of the water has receded, parts of the town are still flooded to this day.
All Photos: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images
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