close menu

Explore the Ghost Town Left by the Chernobyl Disaster via Drone

During a routine test on April 26, 1986, reactor Number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant outside of Pripyat, Ukraine experienced a power surge. It caused a chain of events that quickly lead to a core meltdown. As cooling water vaporized, gigantic steam explosions ripped through the plant and exposed nuclear material to the surrounding area. Nearly 400,000 people had to be evacuated from contaminated areas in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus.

Pripyat is has been firmly in this fallout zone for the last 30 years. It’s an extremely dangerous place to explore, though oddly beautiful, which is why capturing the ghost town that Chernobyl left behind with a drone is maybe the best way to do it:

On location for a CBS story, photographer Danny Cooke made this amazing video of Pripyat with a combination of drone and personal footage. With the soundtrack, the video has a distinctly The Last of Us or The Walking Dead feel. From invisible particles blasting out of decaying metals, a mini apocalypse.

But a nuclear meltdown is a special kind of apocalypse. It’s not like a virus which sweeps though humanity buts leaves the areas inhabitable. Based on the half-life — the time it takes for half of the radioactive material to decay into another material — of the fallout released from the Chernobyl core, it has been estimated that the surrounding areas will remain uninhabitable for thousands of years, possibly tens of thousands.

Before human can again colonize this damned swath of earth, robots and drones will be the only way to explore the desolation. It’s deadly, but strangely beautiful.

Judging HARRY POTTER Wands By How Aesthetically Pleasing They Are

Judging HARRY POTTER Wands By How Aesthetically Pleasing They Are

Schlock & Awe: Chuck Norris in INVASION U.S.A.

Schlock & Awe: Chuck Norris in INVASION U.S.A.


Was THE SIMPSONS' "Homer at the Bat" Lineup Really That Good?



  1. Michele says:

    Distention Truth went in and actually caught voices and a heat signature of a person.

  2. dan says:

    I was not prepared for the guy walking around at :36 or so.

  3. Adam says:

    The area is not habitable, but it is safe to visit. They offer daily tours of the area. And you get to keep your radiation dosimeter badge. The air is fine to be in. The dangerously radioactive stuff is in he dust and dirt. As long as you aren’t kicking it up and breathing it you’d be fine to spend a couple days there. In a couple shots you can see what looks like a massive hangar in the distance. That is the sarcophagus being being built to entomb the reactor. A lot of people work there on rotating shifts. It isn’t inhospitable and deserted. People around much of the time.

  4. MylesX360 says:

    Imagine being one of the people that lived there, then re-visiting your home via a drone.


  5. Matt says:

    Watch this in sync with the first 3 min of ‘Song of the Angel’ by John Tavener. Holy shit. I was just shuffling through my iTunes and that came on as soon as a happened upon this video.