35 Years After A Nuclear Reactor Explodes, This Man Enters The Radioactive Zone And Discovers The Unthinkable

 


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In 1986, the world watched as a major nuclear reactor exploded in the Ukrainian town of Pripyat. For two days, workers attempted to try and conceal the fallout from the monumental disaster. High levels of radiation were propelled into the air. Workers died, towns were abandoned, and people to this day suffer from medical problems based upon the ever-present contamination.

As we fast-forward roughly 35 years, one brave traveler decided to disregard all warnings about traveling in contaminated regions. Going off on his own into a dangerous forest, he came across something no one would’ve ever expected.



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Famed travel vlogger Bald (a pseudonym) prides himself on economical traveling around the world. His YouTube channel “Bald and Bankrupt” speaks to his past in which he once was bankrupt — as well as the clear lack of hair on his head. Hailing from Brighton in the U.K., Bald has enjoyed a rather fascinating life.



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As a young adult, Bald decided to take a holiday to India. Ultimately, a short vacation turned into a four-year stay. He helped manage a hotel, and became somewhat fluent in Hindi. As Bald grew older, his love of travel only intensified.



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Bald has traveled all over the world to nearly every continent. Aside from extensive travel throughout India, Bald also has traversed throughout South America, North America, and Europe. Along the way, one region in particular caught his eye…



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Bald has long held a fascination with the former Soviet Union. This interest spurred on a large amount of travel throughout Russia and many of its neighboring countries. It got to a point where Bald even taught himself how to speak Russian.


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With this in mind, Bald often travels to Russian-speaking countries as a means to practice his speech. It also helped that he was once married to a Belorussian woman. In March of 2019, Bald decided to head to the country of Belarus.



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Though the Chernobyl disaster occurred in Ukraine, parts of both Russia and Belarus are still impacted by high levels of radiation. Whilst in Belarus, Bald had the idea of traversing through one of the most radioactive forests in the entire world.



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Bald hired a cab driver to drop him on the outskirts of a rural Belarus town. His goal was to try and find any people who lived in what is known as a seemingly unlivable region. Upon being dropped off, Bald set off on foot — equipped with a large knife — in search of anything interesting.


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As Bald first entered the contaminated zone, he came across the ruins of an old library. A number of signs were pegged to trees — warning visitors of the potential dangers. Despite written warnings forbidding visitors from traveling further into the zone, Bald continued onward.



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As he continued further, Bald happened upon an abandoned village. Positioned in the middle of the forest, Bald wanted to investigate the dwelling. Announcing his presence in Russian, Bald slowly made his way into the decrepit home.


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No one was living in this particular home — though remnants were clearly visible. Bald came across a small child’s shoe, old photographs hanging on the walls, and graffiti on the walls (which indicated that people were last in the building back in 1990). Whilst the home ended up being empty, a short walk from the structure indicated something else quite shocking.



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Bald came across a large graveyard peacefully sitting in the middle of the forest. A number of unmarked graves were scattered within the area. Bald had a bottle of vodka, and wanted to make a toast to those who had perished. Finding an old tin can on the ground, Bald did the unthinkable…



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The tin can had “USSR” neatly crafted on the bottom of it. Pouring vodka in the can, Bald bravely drank out of the tin. Despite the heavy warnings against even touching something in a contaminated zone, it didn’t matter much to Bald.



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For hours, Bald trudged through the snowy terrain of the Belarus forest. He had no idea as to how he was going to get back to the capital of Minsk. Abandoned buildings and roads continued to dot the vast landscape. With things looking bleak, Bald came across the last remaining people still living in the contaminated zone.



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Though it was a shabby dwelling, Igor proudly showed Bald pictures of his family, the stove in which he sleeps on top of (to stay warm), and his pet kittens. As Igor and Bald moved into the kitchen, Bald realized that Igor was not living in the home alone.



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Looking like a classic babushka, Igor’s 91-year-old mother lives with him in their home. Igor and Bald did shots of vodka as they spoke about the situation in Belarus. Igor was paid extra money by the Russian government for living in a contaminated zone — though that hasn’t occurred in quite some time. Russia alleges that this region is now clean (though some scientists are skeptical).


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Being warm people, Igor and his mother fed Bald bread with sour cream. Igor’s refrigerator indicated that the mother and son had next to no food. Regardless, they still were courteous enough to offer their guest an offering. Bald was very touched by the gesture.


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After meeting with the family and learning about their background, Bald set off down the road to head back to the capital city of Minsk. As Igor bid adieu to Bald with some directions, Bald offered him a small amount of money as a thank you.


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Throughout this journey, Bald showed tremendous courage in traversing through a highly dangerous area. All the while, his thirst for adventure led him to meeting two exceptionally nice people. Despite living a rather isolated and impoverished life, Igor and his mother still went out of their way to make Bald feel welcome. This sort of benevolence is most certainly needed in today’s world.



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