This is the RED FOREST of Russia, formerly the Wormwood Forest.....
Until a little accident up the road apiece caused the entire area to be evacuated.
...But no one told the ANIMALS.
Chernobyl has left one everlasting legacy right out in the open.
Everything else has been entombed in Nuclear Sarcophagi, but just HOW do you contain a 15 square mile Nuclear Forest?
The Red Forest was razed to the ground by Firemen employed by the Russian Forest Protection Agency soon after Chernobyl was brought somewhat under control.
All the dead, highly irradiated Pine trees were buried deep beneath the earth here, in massive pits.
Pits from which life has managed to emerge. Strange, twisted and stunted RED Pines dot the landscape.
Weird Hobgoblin trees that seem to reach for everything but the sky.
But the animals don't seem to mind. They have moved into these forests in DROVES. Species that have not been seen in these parts in decades now flourish here.
The Black bear has returned. The Eagle Owl and the Elk, the Wolf and the Boar, the Lynx....
Thousands of Starling and Pigeons live INSIDE the Towers of Chernobyl!
To MAN, this is now called "The Zone of Alienation". To Animals, it is like EDEN.
Few people reside here, a few Old people and FIREMEN....
FIREMEN are on duty 24 hours a day here, for if these forests were to catch fire, ALL of Russia, certainly MOSCOW, would be in tremendous danger.
Death would come in the form of NUCLEAR ASH....
The animals of the Red forest have no sense of the deadly radiation all around them. MUTATIONS abound, the Starlings and Pigeons have strange tails, and only mice BORN here can live here without dying!
And, so far, according to Biologist Sergei Gaschak, the animals here live out their normal lifetimes with no apparent signs of illness. animals do not live long enough for the deadly CAESIUM 137 to kill them..
The Red Forest of Russia contains, at this very moment, 20 times the radiation released over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
The animals here don't seem to mind....