The massive and extremely deadly Chernobyl accident occurred 30 years ago, in April 1986. It’s still highly radioactive, with no residents within a large radius around the entire facility. While many species of flora and fauna have indeed begun repopulating vasts swaths of land surrounding the Chernobyl site, it still won’t be completely and safely habitable for THOUSANDS of years. The facility itself is currently being prepped for final installation of a massive sarcophagus that can be wheeled over the existing nuclear reactor to entomb the site for millenia.
But one of the most fascinating elements of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl is deep underground. A vast amount of radioactive lava, mixed in with concrete and other elements that it ate through, fell into a sub-basement of reactor 4 and is so lethal to this day, that being in it’s presence for an hour or more will kill anyone due to the high amounts of ionizing radiation.
All image credits: United State Department of Energy
Dubbed ‘The Elephant’s Foot’, the now-solidified mass took years to cool down. But it’s still deadly, radiating thousands of times of lethal amounts of radiation in just a few minutes.
Initially described as an actual, man-made ‘Medusa’, looking at it directly would have killed anyone who did so, very shortly after the Chernobyl accident first occurred. Some initial images that were taken were done with robotic remote cameras and reflected off of mirrors, not even from directly viewing the radioactive mass itself! That’s pretty terrifying.
If you would like to be scared further, follow the links and attempt to wrap your head around how powerful and destructive radiation can be.