These haunting new pictures show Romanian ghost village that lies hidden beneath rising toxic sludge, with just the occasional rooftops still visible, over four decades after its residents were forced to evacuate.

Geamana is all that remains in Western Romania.

Amazing drone footage from Geamana shows the destruction caused by the forced evacuation of the villagers in 1978, to allow for the release of toxic slurry from the nearby copper mine.

New photographs, released at a moment of increased awareness about human impacts on the environment by increasing awareness, depict all that is left of the village which once was home to approximately 400 families. 

Multi-coloured toxic sludge is rising by approximately three feet every year. The church, along with all other buildings within the village, will soon be totally submerged.

Pictured: An abandoned house and out-house are shown mostly submerged in a toxic lake. They are two of the last structures that remain of Geamana in Western Romania after it was flooded by toxic waste from a copper mine in 1978

Pictured: A house abandoned and an outhouse are mostly submerged into a toxic lake. They are two of the last structures that remain of Geamana in Western Romania after it was flooded by toxic waste from a copper mine in 1978

All that remains of Geamana is a church spire protruding from the toxic lake that has hardened over time (pictured), along with a spattering of ruined houses in the shallower waters and abandoned farm equipment

Geamana’s only remaining remnant is the church spire that protrudes from the toxic lake. This has been hardened over the years (pictured), as well as a scattering of abandoned farms and houses that have been ruined in the deeper waters.

Pictured: Aerial drone footage shows the scale of the water pollution from a nearby copper mine. The villagers were forced out of their homes in 1978 to make way for a deluge of toxic slurry that filled the valley

Pictured: Drone footage from the air shows the extent of water contamination caused by a copper mine nearby. To make room for toxic slurry, the village was evacuated in 1978.

The multi-coloured toxic sludge (pictured) rises by around three feet each year and soon the church - along with all of the other buildings in the village - will be completely submerged

Multi-coloured toxic sludge, as shown in this photo (pictured), rises approximately three feet every year. Soon the entire village will be submerged.

In 1977, communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu announced plans to build the Roșia Poieni super mine and offered affected residents around £1,500 each to leave their homes – some of which had been there for generations – to make way for the toxic waste.

A year later, the Apuseni Mountain Village was submerged in polluted and metallic water.

The mine produced over 11,000 tonnes of copper per year at its peak, which made it one of the largest mines in Romania. 

Happier times: The Romanian village of Geamana before it was flooded with toxic waste. The church is shown built high on a hill, giving a sense of how deep the lake is

Today: The church as it can be seen today, almost fully submerged

Left: Pictures show the Romanian village of Geamana before it was flooded with toxic waste. It is shown high up on a hill to give an idea of the depth of the toxic lake. Right: This is the church today as almost completely submerged

A black and white picture of how Geamana, housed in the Apuseni Mountains, used to look, with it's distinctive church spire that now pokes out of the man-made lake

A black-and-white picture showing Geamana’s former appearance, as it was located in the Apuseni Mountain, along with its distinctive church spire, which now protrudes from the manmade lake

Pictured: A photo from the village before it was flooded shows happy residents with a cow, surrounded by small homes. The village was once inhabited by around 400 families, but were forced to evacuate by Romania's then-communist government

Pictured: This photo shows smiling residents with their cow, taken before the flood. It is surrounded by tiny homes. Around 400 people once lived in the village, but they were expelled by Romania’s communist government.

However, the mine’s waste products were washed into an artificial valley. It was the end of the remote community which had been built within a catch-basin to dispose toxic waste.

Following the opening of Geamana mine, a constant supply acidic grey-and red liquid filled Geamana valley. 20 villagers refused to move and instead moved to higher ground.

Some villager thought they could make a fortune by moving. Although they thought that they would be moved only 60 miles from their homes, the reality was that they had to go over 60 miles.  

Iron, sulphur and copper residues from a the copper mine cause the sickly patterns in the lake. Orange mixes with purple, green and yellow to create the hypnotic ripples. Pictured: An aerial view of the lake shows the environmental damage

It is possible for iron, sulfur and copper from copper mines to cause sickly lake patterns. The hypnotic ripples are created when orange is mixed with green, purple and yellow. Photo: Aerial view of Lake Ontario showing the extent of environmental damage

Pictured: The church spire as seen on February 16, 2021. In this photo, the bricks of the church are just about visible under the spire. In the latest images, they are completely submerged, showing the speed of the rising toxic sludge

Pictured: As seen from the church spire on February 16, 2021. The bricks from the church can be seen just below the spire in this photograph. They are now completely submerged in the most recent images. It is indicative of the rapid rise in toxic sludge.

The officials broke the promise to move the graves. They still lay around the church that is slowly falling apart and are covered in toxic sludge. Locals also reacted furiously.

The ‘lake” of contaminated material grew with the mines, creating the bizarre landscape seen in these photos. There is nothing except the steeple of the church and some abandoned homes to be found around the town.

Acidic lakes contain cyanide which was used to extract it. This is very toxic and could have devastating effects on the environment and kill animals and poison rivers.

Pictured: A view over the toxic lake with some of the few remaining homes in the foreground. As a steady supply of acidic grey-and-red liquid filled Geamana's valley following the mine's opening, 20 villagers refused to leave and simply moved to higher ground. They, too, will be forced to move as the water level rises

Pictured: View over toxic lake. Some of the homes are visible in foreground. After the mine opened, a constant supply of acidic gray-and-red liquid filled Geamana’s valley. Twenty villagers refused leave their homes and moved to better ground. As the water levels rise, so will they.

Pictured: Abandoned farming equipment and two farm buildings that remain near the lake

Pictured are abandoned farming equipment, and the two remaining farm buildings near the lake

Speaking in 2019, Romanian photographer and urban explorer Cristian Lipovan, 36, – who frequently visits the lake and witnessed year on year how the village has sank below the poisonous water – spoke of his experiences capturing the slow and devastating process.

‘Geamana is a missing village, a ghost village, swallowed by a lake that has vivid, unreal living colours,’ Mr Lipovan said at the time. The water surrounding the hill has a red colour. It shows that all things are poisoned: water, water, plants, trees, fruits and vegetables as well as animals, including man.

“The lake’s growth is rapid, and people still live in the vicinity with the risk of their houses being encroached upon by poisonous water.”

Pictured: A image taken from drone footage showing the church's spire, that is one of the only remaining structures visible above the rising toxic sludge

Pictured is a drone image of the church’s spire. This structure, which remains above the rising toxic waste slurry, was captured from aerial footage.

Pictured: The church in a photograph from September 2011, demonstrating how high the water has risen since

Photo of the church taken in September 2011. It shows how high water levels have risen over time.

He stated that the atmosphere was bleak due to the unnatural, psychedelic colours as well as the poverty of those who spend their time drinking poison, eating and smell it. 

“The sad tale began in 1977, when Nicolae Ceausescu moved Geamana’s population to build a disposal site for Rosia Poieni’s copper mine. This was the beginning of the tragic story,” said Lipovan.

“It is the most important copper mine in Romania. At the same time, it was also the largest one in Europe.

He stated that the Apuseni Mountains are now experiencing an ‘ecological explosion’.