Concerning tourist trend at Chernobyl site

Holly Hales
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
A questionable social media trend has emerged on the site of Chernobyl, more than 30 years after the nuclear disaster. Photo: Instagram/mayuyudayo/

Since the catastrophic nuclear disaster at Chernobyl more than three decades ago, much of the world has found time to reflect on its tragic aftermath.

The extent of the horror faced by the local, Ukrainian citizens has been brought into our homes recently with the release of HBO’s series Chernobyl.

But now it seems the nearby city of Pripyat, has been opened to tourists and has quickly become the scene of cheery holiday snaps.

From smiling selfies to half-dressed shots, tourists appear to be making light of their visit to the site to the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

So far, dozens of questionably-judged snaps taken by tourists who book trips and tours to the largely abandoned exclusion zone, have been posted on Instagram.

Some of the most common shots include standing in front of the abandoned ferris wheel, pretending to drive a burned-out bus, or sitting atop one of the once-bustling city’s many deserted buildings.

Although it’s unclear when the posts first began appearing, the release of HBO’s record-breaking new series, is surely having an impact.

Fan favourites for the perfect pic included pretending to drive a burned-out bus. Photo: Instagram/urbexplorerreisen/

The director responds

The five-part mini-series chronicles the real life 1986 disaster, and is already the highest-rated show on IMDB, which makes it higher than both Games of Thrones and Breaking Bad.

Almost two million people tuned in to watch the series’ UK premiere on May 6, an episode which attempts to piece together the events that immediately preceded the disaster.

However, now the show’s creator has called out the brazen behaviour by tourists and has pleaded with them to respect the site’s tragic past.

"It's wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion," he tweeted.

From smiling selfies to stripped-down candids and a slew of shots which seem to make light of the eerie wake left by the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Photo: Instagram/seregastrange/

"But yes, I've seen the photos going around.

"If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed."

In real life, Chernobyl was the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster on April 26, 1986.

The unprecedented catastrophe immediately killed 31 people and is said to be responsible for up to 90,000 deaths in the decades since.

The effects of the explosion’s radiation left much of the region abandoned and caused illness and disfigurement to thousands living within miles of the plant.

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