58ºF

10 horrifying facts about Chernobyl you probably didn't know

HBO's eye-opening series has a lot of people talking about the nuclear disaster

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

People can't get over the new and shocking HBO miniseries "Chernobyl," which depicts the nuclear disaster that happened at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. 

The explosion has been described as the worst nuclear disaster the world has ever seen, and it caused massive devastation to people who came near the plant after the explosion happened. 

HBO's new miniseries has shed some light on just how dire the situation was and continues to be.

The things that happened to the people who came in contact with radiation is truly horrific, and some of the facts are just unbearable. 

Here are 10 things about the Chernobyl disaster that you probably didn't know.


1.) Firefighter Vasily Ignatenko (who was portrayed in the HBO series) was one of the first people on the scene at Chernobyl, and he was exposed to huge amounts of radiation. He died an excruciating death two weeks after the explosion, coughing up his own internal organs and suffering from other awful things. 

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

 

2.) Ignatenko's body was so deformed and swollen from the radiation at his funeral that his wife, Lyudmila, said shoes would not fit his feet and his clothing wouldn't fit around his body. 

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

3.) Ignatenko's body was full of radioactive material that he had to be buried beneath zinc and concrete shielding.

(Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

4.) It is currently illegal to live in Chernobyl, the nearby town Pripyat and the surrounding area known as the Zone of Alienation or Exclusion Zone. Despite it being illegal, there are still around 140 people who live in these zones.

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

5.) It's estimated that anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 abortions were performed on women after the incident because doctors told them their babies were exposed to radiation and could be born with birth defects. There was "radiophobia," and the World Health Organization says there is no evidence that birth defects were more common in babies delivered by women who were near Chernobyl. 

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

6.) During the evacuation in 1986, people were not allowed to take their pets with them, leaving tons of dogs abandoned. 

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

7.) While it is illegal to live in the Exclusion Zone, tourists are able to visit the area and explore the ruins of Chernobyl and the deserted town of Pripyat. Tour agencies reported there has been a 40% increase in tourism since the HBO show premiered. 

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

8.) There is an abandoned amusement park in Pripyat that totally looks like it's haunted. 

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

9.) During the first five years after the accident, cancer in children increased by more than 90% in the Ukraine alone. 

(Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

10.) The trees surrounding Chernobyl and Pripyat were exposed to radiation and soon died. The forest is now called the Red Forest

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)