On April 26th, 1986 an explosion in the reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant would permanently change the face of Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Chernobyl remains in the collective memory of mankind as the worst nuclear disaster in the history of nuclear energy production. Maybe the man made disaster with the most impact on mankind. Radiation resulting from the explosion caused thousands of deaths in Ukraine, Russia and neighboring countries, but long-term effects of this catastrophe are more serious: the spread of cancer diseases, children born with birth defects, irradiation of agricultural land and more. All these form a sum of effects caused by a single event, which in turn generates more negative effects.
Soviet officials at the time were severely criticized for not immediately informing the population of the high risk radiations they were exposed to. Close settlements were eventually evacuated, and the government restricted the disaster area.
Prypiat, because of it's radiation disaster which resulted in abandonment is currently the most famous ghost town, because it can relate to people. There are hundreds of cities in the world that are about Prypiat's size, and which hold the same population that Prypiat had. If you live in a city of about 50.000 people, you can't help but imagine how it would look like after 20 years of abandonment.
The fame it has also made it the main subject in video games, such as Call of Duty or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. where one could virtually go and visit the city, while fighting enemies.
The city where most Chernobyl employees were located was also included in the zone. Prypiat, which sheltered about 50.000 people, was located less than 5 kilometers away from the disaster area. The evacuation was made in record time: under 60 after the accident. Prypiat was rapidly turned into a ghost town and, today, it offers a macabre sight, which reminds us of the high level disaster that happened there because of human errors, an unfortunate accident which looks like it happened yesterday.
The land on which the city was built will still be irradiated for the next few hundred years, although the tragic memory could still live for much longer.
Some adventurers who were bold enough to go into the "forbidden forest" brought photos from the other side that were overwhelmingly sad. Nature is regaining it's place in the city abandoned by humans. And it's succeeding. Prypiat is covered by vegetation, while wild animals shelter in the remains of the abandoned buildings.
The city seems like it's been frozen in time. Made beds, with sheets that were once white, classrooms with benches, decorations, offices, the amusement park, all are in the same place where they were almost 26 years ago. Only vegetation is conquering the places that long ago were streets. And explorers.