You’d think that, in the midst of a global pandemic, the last thing people would want are stories of the post-apocalyptic persuasion. However, as evidenced by the aggressive revival of 2011’s viral thriller Contagion, the world-ending genre has actually become more thrillingly popular than ever before.
Several websites are cashing in on this new trend by allowing you to walk around the abandoned grounds of Prypiat, one of the cities near the Ukraine-Belarus border that was permanently evacuated when a reactor of the Chernobyl power plant failed and bombarded the entire region with deadly nuclear radiation.
The tours offer high quality, three-dimensional views of several historic sights, including unfinished amusement parks littered with rusted bumper cars, sports stadiums overlooked by decaying wooden stands, and even kindergartens where – not unlike on the set of a predictable horror film – you can find the occasional discarded, malformed doll lying about on the ground.
With social distancing guidelines being extended for the foreseeable future, these virtual tours (found via the link below) are the perfect escape from your mundane reality. On top of that, it’s also the only way you’ll be able to visit the real Chernobyl anytime soon, as nuclear radiation isn’t expected to fully wear off until 2065. Talk about a long wait.
Though the power plant’s failure had been known around the world as one of the most serious man-made disasters of modern history, many people didn’t really understand the gravity of the situation until it was shown to them by HBO’s 2019 smash hit miniseries Chernobyl, which depicted both short and long term consequences of radiation exposure in excruciating detail.
Although the virtual tours are not connected with the HBO production, they still offer a meaningful opportunity to compare the horrifying show to the even more horrifying reality on which it was based.