At 1:23 am on April 26, 1986, images from one swath of the world changed dramatically. A nuclear meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in Ukraine set off the worst atomic disaster in history, destroying or transforming landscapes nearby, and forever altering the minds and hearts of people around the world. The plant-crippling accident, the ensuing evacuation of the nearby town of Pripyat, the bewildered Soviet handling of the crisis, and the actions of brave first responders set in motion a series of actions, events, and outcomes that people still discuss, explore, and argue about today.
Photos from the incident and its aftermath capture a tragedy never before seen; the closest similarity is what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. The images are as creepy as some of the stories that emerged after the Chernobyl tragedy. Images capture the unthinkable contamination, abandonment, fear, bravery, and destruction unleashed on April 26 - and in some ways still remain.
Chernobyl's 'Elephant's Foot' - A Mass Of Radioactive WastePhoto: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group / Getty ImagesIs this creepy?
The Reactor Post-ExplosionPhoto: SFV2/Universal Images Group / Getty ImagesIs this creepy?
Workers - Each For Just 40 Seconds - Cleaning The Roof Of The ReactorPhoto: Igor Kostin/Sygma / Getty ImagesIs this creepy?
An Abandoned Home Near ChernobylPhoto: Igor Kostin/Sygma / Getty ImagesIs this creepy?