After decades of being underwater, the sunken town of Potosi has re-emerged from beneath the water. For decades, the only remnant of this beautiful South American town was a tall church spire sticking out the middle of a lake. Now, like the mythical phoenix, the town is reborn. But it’s not going to last for long. Soon, this hidden piece of history will go back into hiding.


Slowly, the hidden town began to reappear this year. A severe drought lowered the level of the lake to reveal this long-lost piece of history. The church spire was followed by a roof, then windows. Soon, the entire church was visible once more.


The town was flooded in 1984 for the sake of a dam project. Some of the homes were destroyed completely. Builders attempted to destroy the church as well. They used explosives on the structure, but the church stubbornly resisted their efforts.

Disappearing history

Even after being weakened with explosives and drowned underwater, the church has now resurfaced. The facade and the impressive church tower are still in place. The structure hasn’t been seen at all since 2010. The church doesn’t look too much the worse for wear, though the once-white building is now greenish.


The town won’t be visible for long. Once the rainy season begins, the flooded town will be drowned by the waters once more. The homes, the shops, and the impressive church will vanish under the water until another natural event brings them back to the surface.

Sunken city

Before it was flooded, more than 1,000 people lived in Potosi, Venezuela. Residents were told to leave by the President in 1985, and they watched as their town was flooded and turned into a reservoir.


Now, Potosi is just a memory that is sometimes, but rarely visible— like a shadow of the past that flickers back to life but for a few moments before it’s gone again. For now, Potosi is visible for all to see. But soon, the past will go back to hiding beneath the water once more.