Why this room is the most dangerous place in the world

Rhiannon Ingle

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Why this room is the most dangerous place in the world

Featured Image Credit: Serkant Hekimci/REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

One particular room has been dubbed as the most dangerous place in the world and its location will more than likely come as no surprise to anyone.

While many may conjure up slightly different images when trying to think of the world's most dangerous place, the rightful owner of that title surprisingly belongs to one specific room.

The room in question lies inside of a basement in Pripyat, Ukraine – the home of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that took place thirty-six years ago.

The room was commonly referred to as the 'Elephant’s Foot of Chernobyl', as the radioactive mass that gathered in the basement gave off the facade of the wrinkled foot of an elephant.

It was once toxic enough to kill anyone who even stood near it.

A room in Pripyat, Ukraine is being called the world's most dangerous place. Credit: Rare Historical Photos
A room in Pripyat, Ukraine is being called the world's most dangerous place. Credit: Rare Historical Photos

The 'foot' inside the basement of Unit 4 is said to be comprised of concrete, sand and melted nuclear fuel and stands at a whopping two metres in length.

The nuclear fallout was so potent that photos of the molten mass in the plant's basement could only be snapped a decade later, once levels of radiation had lowered.

In 1986, radiation levels on the 'Elephant's Foot' were measured at a staggering 10,000 roentgens per hour – which is enough to deliver a fatal dose of radiation to anyone in its presence in less than a minute.

The basement is reported to remain dangerously radioactive for tens of thousands of years – so imagine what it could do to a human in a minute mere decades after the explosion.

However, as shown above, taking a quick photograph and a meter reading of the 'Elephant's Foot' won't cause any dramatic acute health effects – as Artur Korneyev, a Kazakhstani nuclear inspector, proved in 1996 when the above photo was taken.

The room is called the 'Elephant’s Foot of Chernobyl'. Credit: Rare Historical Photos
The room is called the 'Elephant’s Foot of Chernobyl'. Credit: Rare Historical Photos

The nuclear disaster occurred on 26 April in 1986, when the No. 4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded during a safety test. The tragic disaster is said to have been a result of hot nuclear rods giving off huge amounts of steam after being lowered into cooling water.

The power surge led to a massive explosion, which subsequently released radiation into the surrounding atmosphere.

Moments later, a second explosion followed. Even bigger than the first, it tore the reactor building apart, firing elements of the core around the plant which lead to a number of surrounding fires.

While the internationally recognised death toll directly attributed to Chernobyl stands at 31, it remains unknown just how many people were affected by the disaster with the radiation fallout being devastatingly immense.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, Chernobyl, World News, Science

Rhiannon Ingle
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