Haunting Footage From Abandoned Chernobyl

Nearly 30 years have passed since the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The city has since been abandoned, yet it is still full of relics of a place that once was: where memories were forged, where families lived, and where life–and a model one, at that–was possible. Pripyat, the town forged next to the nuclear plant, was meant to be a model nuclear city, a testament to Soviet strength and ingenuity.

History clouds that vision, though, reminding us instead of the transience of politics and power. As photographer Danny Cooke said, “there was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us”.

If you enjoyed the video above, be sure to see these fantastic photographs of Chernobyl and Pripyat:

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Abandoned Chernobyl Box Office

Chernobyl has its origins in the Cold War, and was the first nuclear power plant in Soviet Ukraine.

Abandoned Chernobyl Trucks

The town of Pripyat was built around the power plant, meant to house nuclear experts, security and plant workers.

Abandoned Chernobyl Pool

The Soviets envisioned Pripyat as a model "nuclear city", where people flourished around nuclear industry and smart urban planning.

Abandoned Chernobyl Cart

On April 26, 1986, these dreams would come crashing down. A technical experiment failed, and sent Nuclear Reactor No. 4 into meltdown.

Abandoned Chernobyl Go Carts

The structure blew up, and it would take Soviet authorities a day to order citizens of Pripyat to evacuate.

Abandoned Chernobyl Doctor Room

Incredibly, Chernobyl released four hundred times more radioactive material than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Abandoned Chernobyl Doll

The entire town evacuated in three hours.

Abandoned Chernobyl Empty Room

Many first responders died or suffered incredible health damages.

Abandoned Chernobyl Furniture

The Soviet government spent the next seven months trying to contain the nuclear fallout, erecting a metal and concrete shelter over Nuclear Reactor 4.

Abandoned Chernobyl Dust

However, Reactor 4 had been leaking toxic fumes for weeks.

Abandoned Chernobyl Gym

The radiation spread throughout Europe, though most stayed in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

Abandoned Chernobyl Gym Floor

In 1986, Soviet officials erected the city of Slavutich to replace Pripyat.

Abandoned Chernobyl Hazard

Three decades later, nuclear fallout still threatens human health.

Abandoned Chernobyl Hotel

Radiation levels have dropped to the point where scientists and tourists can visit Pripyat, though living there is still not recommended.

Abandoned Chernobyl Living

Chernobyl "restarted" over the next year, producing nuclear power until December 2000.

Abandoned Chernobyl Workers

Workers in the area are mandated to take 15 days of rest following five days of work, due to the remaining radiation levels.

Abandoned Chernobyl Ferris Wheel

The Pripyat ferris wheel, so popular in abandoned photographs, was scheduled to open on May 1st, 1986, just days after disaster would strike.

Abandoned Chernobyl Masks

Immediately following the disaster, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness.

Abandoned Chernobyl Office

Some estimate that Chernobyl caused 4,000 deaths from cancer.

Abandoned Chernobyl Peeling Paint

However, these estimates are not necessarily accurate given the fact that the Soviet government tried to systematically cover up the extent of radiation injury.

Abandoned Chernobyl Plant

Some think that at least 17,500 people were intentionally misdiagnosed with "vegetovascular dystonia" by the Soviet Health Ministry.

Abandoned Chernobyl Playroom

This also allowed the Soviet government to deny claims for welfare.

Abandoned Chernobyl Pool Far

Thyroid cancer among children is considered one of the main health impacts.

Abandoned Chernobyl Race Car

A 2005 Chernobyl Forum report revealed 4,000 cases of cancer among children in the affected region.

Abandoned Chernobyl Rail Cars

Chernobyl also sowed a seed of mistrust of medical professionals, which resulted in a spike in requests for abortions.

Abandoned Chernobyl Register

Mikhail Gorbachev has said that the USSR spent then-$18 billion on containment and decontamination.

Abandoned Chernobyl Rink

This essentially bankrupted the already-flailing empire.

Abandoned Chernobyl Room

In Belarus, Chernobyl's cost in 2005 dollars was $235 billion.

Abandoned Chernobyl School

Given its environmental impact, billions have been lost in potential agricultural yields.

Abandoned Chernobyl Seating Room

Most of these areas have since been restored, but require costly cultivation materials.

Abandoned Chernobyl Snow

Politically, it also made the USSR quite vulnerable, opening up more dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union, which would ultimately unravel in 1991.

Abandoned Chernobyl Stained Glass

It also incited a shift in nuclear and environmental policies.

Chernobyl Stairwell

Italy began to phase out its nuclear power plants in 1988.

Chernobyl Storefront

In Germany, Chernobyl caused the government to create a federal environment ministry. The minister was given authority over nuclear reactor safety, and helped galvanize the anti-nuclear power movement and its decision to end the use of nuclear power.

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North Brother Island Is New York’s Best Kept Secret

Christopher Payne North Brother Island

Source: Smithsonian

As with many forgotten places, few people—even New York locals—know that North Brother Island exists. While the island was once home to the famed Typhoid Mary, it has since been overtaken by Mother Nature’s gentle yet unyielding hand. A dot on the East River that’s nestled between Bronx and Rikers Island, North Brother Island is now like the world’s other abandoned locales: overrun with lush trees, ivy and tall grasses, a mere shadow of its former self.

New York From Brother Islands

Source: Smithsonian

Abandoned Island New York City

Source: Slate

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40 Incredible Abandoned Structures

A building is never just that. It can be a place we call home, a repository for memories, an intimate space where we share even more intimate ideas; it’s one of the ways we as people lay physical claim to the world in which we live. And just as a building is more than its material components, the same can be said for a building in shambles. Evocative of our own limits, mortality and time’s dominion over all, these abandoned structures provide as much aesthetic interest as they do opportunities to consider our place–however temporary–in the world:

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Czestochowa Poland

An abandoned train in Czestochowa, Poland. Source: Imgur

Abandoned Structures In Paraguay

Nature asserts its power in Asunción, Paraguay. Source: Imgur

Beelitz Operating Room

This abandoned Soviet hospital isn't exactly where you'd like to get a medical procedure. Source: Bored Panda

Beelitz Hospital

A staircase within the Beelitz Military Hospital. Source: Bored Panda

Abandoned Structures Blade Mill France

A blade mill returns to nature in France. Source: Imgur

Abandoned Photographs Miranda Chateau In Belgium

The exterior of Belgium's Chateau Miranda. The castle was built for a family in 1866 but came under possession during World War II by the National Railway Company of Belgium, where it was converted into an orphanage. The castle has been abandoned since 1991. Source: Panoramio

Miranda Chateau Photograph

A sleepy, sooty room in Chateau Miranda. Source: David Baker Photography

Chateau Miranda Stairs

A dusty staircase in Chateau Miranda. Source: David Baker Photography

Chateau Miranda Ceiling

The interiors of Chateau Miranda. Source: Panoramio

Empty Church In Canada

Light shines through a barren church in Canada. Source: Bored Panda

Empty Church In Detroit

An empty congregation within an abandoned Detroit church. Source: Flickr

Abandoned Places Dadipark Stands

Decay amid Belgium's abandoned Dadipark amusement park. Source: Pinterest


A filthy slide in Dadipark. Source: Panoramio

Abandoned Places Eastern State Penitentiary

The haunting halls of Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary. Source: DK Photos

Abandoned Structures Floating Forest

Australia's abandoned SS Ayrfield now serves as a centuries-old floating forest. Source: Bored Panda

Abandoned Places In Gullivers Travels

The larger than life decay in Japan's Gulliver's Travels Theme Park. Source: Tumblr

Hafodunos Hall

The hollowed out interiors of North Wales' Hafodunos Hall. Source: Imgur

Abandoned Places Hashima Island

Japan's uninhibited Hashima Island. Source: Bored Panda

Hashima Island Inside

Hashima Island's interior. Source: Bored Panda

Holland Island Home

An empty home struggles for footing amid Hollan Island's expedited erosion. Source: Imgur

Abandoned Places Holy Land USA

The ghostly remains of Connecticut's Holy Land USA park, closed since 1984. Source: The Dreamy Idealist

Holy Land USA Sign

The rusted entrance to Connecticut's Holy Land park. Source: 500 PX

Abandoned Structures Kerry Way

A structure overtaken by flora along Ireland's Kerry Way trail. Source: Imgur

Kiev Subway

A derelict subway in Kiev, Ukraine. Source: Bored Panda

Lawndale Theatre In Chicago

Chicago's dilapidated Lawndale Theatre. Source: Imgur

Michigan Central Station

Detroit's cavernous Michigan Central Station. Source: Bored Panda

Mill In Sorrento Italy

An abandoned mill in Sorrento, Italy. Source: Imgur

Abandoned Places Nara Japan

A ghostly ride at Japan's Nara Dreamland theme park. The park was closed in 2006 due to low visitor numbers. Source: Imgur

Abandoned Structures New Bedford Orpheum

The dusty interior of Massachussetts' Orpheum Theatre. Source: Bored Panda

Sarajevo Olympics

Remnants of the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Source: Imgur

Abandoned Places Shi Cheng

Divers explore Shi Cheng, China. Shi Cheng was an ancient city but was ultimately flooded in 1959 to make room for a dam project. Source: Bored Panda

Abandoned Structures Six Flags Ride

Roller coaster cars at Six Flags New Orleans. The park was closed after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Source: Love These Pics

Abandoned Six Flags Bumper Cars

Abandoned bumper cars at Six Flags New Orleans. Source: Love These Pics

Abandoned Structures Six Flags Jazzland

A decrepit stand at Six Flags New Orleans. Source: Love These Pics

Abandoned Structures Balaklava Base

An abandoned submarine base in Balaklava, Ukraine. Source: Bored Panda

Train Station In Georgia

An abandoned train station in Abkhazia, Georgia. Source: Bored Panda

Abandoned Places Wonderland China

Beijing's Wonderland Amusement Park. Source: Imgur

Wonderland Hanger

The interior of Beijing's Wonderland Amusement Park. Source: The Atlantic

Abandoned Structures Wonderland Workers

Workers at Beijing's Wonderland Amusement Park. Source: The Atlantic

Abandoned Structures Yacht Antarctica

A sunken yacht in Antarctica. Source: Imgur

Like this gallery? Share it!

And if you liked this post, be sure to check out these popular posts:

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For more photographs of abandoned structures and places, visit our posts on abandoned photographs, abandoned Detroit, and desolate and deserted former Olympics sites.

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