What's the Loneliest Town on Earth?

Villa Epecuen, a resort town located 340 miles southwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was once a booming tourist destination on the shores of a salt lake known for its healing properties. Then, after heavy and persistent rains in November of 1985, levees burst and the town found itself suddenly under water, no longer inhabitable for its 5,000 residents.

After being buried under 33 feet of saltwater for about 25 years, Epecuen began to re-emerge in 2009, a jumble of dead trees, crumbled buildings and rusty cars. No one has dared to return, except Pablo Novak, who now has the distinction of being Epecuen’s only resident.

Emergence of Argentina's Atlantis:

  • Novak was 60 when water swallowed the town. “I decided to stay,” he explained after returning, “because I spent my youth here, I went to school here and also started a family here. So it seemed quite normal.”

  • The water -- 10 times saltier than the sea -- drew many of Buenos Aires’s Jewish community, nostalgic for the Dead Sea. The population would swell fivefold during the high season.

  • Lake Epecuen’s therapeutic power was legendary. It was said that the water could cure conditions such as rheumatism, skin diseases and anemia. Some claimed a plunge into the salty blue water could cure paralysis.

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More Info: CNN

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