As humans, we are mesmerized by ruins, inherently intrigued by the concrete skeletons of old buildings and towns that are now rendered useless and abandoned. In the case of Villa Epecuén—a thriving resort town has since been reduced to a salty puddle—these ruins offer us an understanding of how quickly a town’s landscape can transform and be reduced to nothing.
Situated southwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina, lies Lago Epecuén, a lake whose salt levels are about ten times higher than those of any ocean. Lake visitors claim that the body of water contains healing powers, and can cure a variety of diseases such as depression, rheumatism and diabetes. In the 1920s, a tourist village was established along the lake’s shore, where it thrived for most of the twentieth century.