After the nuclear disaster that took place on the 26th of April 1986, in Chernobyl, no one would exactly want to voluntarily enter the abandoned exclusion zone ever again. But, these days the epicentre of the nuclear catastrophe has become a major tourist attraction to which thousands of tourists flock to each year.
Pripyat became a ghost town
In 2011, when Chernobyl was opened as a tourist attraction by the Ukrainian government, visitors were given a chance to see how the world would be if all the inhabitants were to suddenly disappear. The residents of Pripyat, who were being evacuated thought that was only leaving for a few days and took with them very few possessions. Their abandoned possessions still remain as they were left in the ghost town.
Here are some harrowing scenes of the site
Jack Skelton and Emerson Maud, visited Chernobyl in recent months to get an insight into the exclusion zone which is a 19-mile restricted area surrounding the power plant. According to Emerson, the site is heavily monitored and only with authorization by the Ukrainian government can someone visit.
Furthermore, their passport will be regularly checked by those guarding the site. Visitors must also use the radiation detectors which are present at every checkpoint.
Jack Skelton spoke about what he saw while on the trip
In Jack’s words, the scale of Pripyat used to be a full city where tens of thousands lived and now there was nobody. Scattered around were newspapers which were just the day before the accident, personal belongings, shoes and drawings.
Heartrending moments of nurseries with toys
Out of all, the most shocking was the nursery where the children had left behind their dolls. There were items that were stolen after the accident, but whatever was left still seemed to be harrowing. But the most saddening site to him was the abandoned schools and nurseries.
A disturbing place
He stated that it was really disturbing to see a place which would normally be so full of life look so desolate. Before the evacuation, the residents were only given a few hours to gather their possessions. The thing that really stuck with Jackson was the sight of piles of handwritten homework lying on the desks, dated 1986.
Tourists are given Geiger counters
Geiger counters are given to tourists to measure the total amount of radiation they absorb during the trip. Even though the authorities are insistent that the site is safe to visit, the exclusion zone is still one of the most radioactive places in the world.
Following the sudden and permanent evacuation of Chernobyl which led to much of the land being torn up and most of the animals being killed in the clean-up, nature was allowed to thrive giving the city a real post-apocalyptic setting. Trees have reclaimed the land while the roads have become overgrown and wild animals roam around freely.
Chernobyl before 1986 in comparison to Chernobyl now
The site is a reminder of the time frozen in the era of Soviet Russia with its propaganda still visible here and there. If you’re wondering what the world would look like when humans are no longer around the abandoned overgrown city is the perfect example.
The exact moments when residents evacuated
Tourists can now view the moment when the residents were hastily evacuated. There is also a huge difference between the recently clicked images of the exclusion zone to its original appearance in 1986. However, most of its originality has been recreated in the television series.
A shocking moment in history
The Chernobyl explosion till this date remains a shocking piece of history, one that will always be remembered.