In the Photo of the Week feature, we highlight an exceptionally amazing photograph submitted by an Atlas Obscura user.


Nothing says unfathomable tragedy like broken children’s toys, which is exactly what Atlas user Sebastiang found when he visited the abandoned city of Pripiyat near the site of the Chernobyl disaster to capture this incredible shot. Sebastiang tells the story of this moving image:

“This photo was taken in May of 2013, in an abandoned Soviet-era kindergarten and elementary school near the ghost city of Pripiyat, while I was visiting the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone in Ukraine.

The numerous remnants of contaminated children’s toys, textbooks, and school supplies that can never be removed from the school gave us some of the most eerie views of the destruction that the Chernobyl disaster inflicted on the lives of the former power plant workers and their families. It’s possible that the old stuffed animal and child’s shoe were moved to their current position by an earlier visitor looking for a striking photograph, but it was impossible to know given how many old remnants there were in that building. It’s interesting to note that we detected significantly higher levels of radiation in that school than we did standing less than 100 yards away from the old nuclear reactor.”   

Thanks to all of our adventurous users who keep submitting such amazing shots! Want to have your photograph featured? Keep adding your captures to our ever-growing compendium of wondrous places (just click the “Edit This Place” link at the bottom of each place). And watch here each Friday for another Photo of the Week