Because of the accident of April 1986, greenery growing around Chernobyl nuclear power plant was severely affected. The trees got so much radiation that they burned from inside and turned red. Even today, the area of the red forest remains the most contaminated and radioactive in the whole exclusion zone.
What Caused the Forest to Turn Red in Chernobyl Zone?
The answer might be complex, but all the options have the same thing in common: huge dose of radiation. After the accident, the wind was blowing to the North and later shifted to the West. That’s why the areas that were located in these two directions suffered the most. The forest, which consisted mainly of pine trees, was pretty sensitive to the radiation. If there had been a person when the explosion took place, he or she would have died within a couple of minutes.
Because of the absorbed radiation, greenery started dying. Needles of the pine trees got colors from light orange to brown. Moreover, Chernobyl glowing trees is not a myth or one of those spooky stories about mutations and zombies. Interaction of the particles and radioactive decay with trees enzymes caused light glowing. It could be observed in the night during first month after the accident.
Chernobyl Red Forest: Present Time
Pine trees are able to absorb the particles effectively. On one hand, it makes them perfect filter, but on the other, if they burn, they release everything into the air. Before the wildfire, which happens quite often in the zone, could destroy the trees, the liquidators cut them and buried under the ground on the very same area.
The nature is restored there. Chernobyl red forest wildlife is outstanding nowadays. It’s a home for rare species: lynx, black stark, black grouse and many others. Though, the soil will remain radioactive for thousands of years. Such a unique environment is natural laboratory. It brings scientists from all over the world: basically, this is the only place on the Earth where they are able to study such radioactivity effects on nature.
Because of the contamination, there are no touristic routes into the forest. However, before entering ghost city of Prypiat, the visitors have quick stop on the road that goes along the red forest near Chernobyl power plant. Although the time spent there is short, it’s still fascinating. You will measure the background when standing on the road and when taking just five steps in the direction of forest. The level is still safe for the people (unless you decide to have picnic there), but the difference will be stunning. We are inviting you to check it out.