People travel for many different purposes. Some to refresh themselves, some to taste adventure, start a new stage of life, find the purpose of their existences, and so on. For these reasons, people choose to go to contrasting places. Them who look for leisure time would likely visit popular tourist destinations deemed safe and fun by hundreds people, but the ones with adventure boiling in their blood might want something more challenging like uncharted places or spots people should stay away from. If you belong to the second group, take notes, these 5 dangerous places in Russia are the ones you should avoid at all cost – no matter how brave you are.
1. Lake Karachay
This now dry lake, located to the south of Ural Mountains, was once a site used by Mayak Nuclear Plant to dump its radioactive waste from 1951 to 1957. It is the most polluted lake in the world with a very toxic bed that still keeps dangerous components. Although now the floor is covered with concrete blocks to avoid leakage of radioactive dust, the lake is still closed to the public because it is still under treatment and observation. In 1960, even staying around the lake for merely an hour could kill you. Surely no tourists, even the most curious ones, would risk their lives just to see a dead lake.
2. The Peak of Mount Elbrus
Mountains are always mesmerizing and mysterious at the same time. People have been trying to conquer them since the earliest of history of human race. However, Mount Elbrus offers more darkness rather than brilliant summit. Located in Southern Russia, Mount Elbrus has two peaks on the eastern and western points; both are dormant volcanic domes. Many people have tried to reach the top of the mountain but around 15 to 30 people died each year while attempting this. The paths to the peaks are obviously not for everyone and there is a possibility of eruption predicted to happen in this century.
About 2800 km away from Moscow, this city situated in Siberia, Russia is a closed city. It is not a ghost city, just closed for foreigners. The inhabitants are around 175,000 people and they all work for the plants crowding the city because that was what Norilsk was built for from the first place; industrial site. During the winter the temperature drops to -30⁰C and there are three months in a year where the sun is out of the city’s sight. With smoky chimneys jutting around the place, Norilsk is dubbed as the most polluted city in the world with such endangering level of toxins in the air. This city is definitely not for strolling around of sightseeing. Visitors may only enter with invitation or – if they ever have an importance to come – after done passing a long and thorough procedure. This city can only be reached through the air or unknown Russian roads.
Started as a gold mining town in 1822, Karabash is located in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia. Mining has always been the town’s main industry but the situation turned hellish in 1910 when Copper Smelting Works started to operate. The smoke coming out of the factory’s chimneys release such high level of poison that the trees, water, plants around the town are spoiled by orange tint from the smelting. Breathing is hard when the factory is operating. Today, the whole town looks like it’s a scene from a post-apocalypse movie, even extraterrestrial. Life expectancy of the people who still can’t manage to escape the town is 45 years, while kids who live there are stunting and don’t normally grow. Karabash is proven to be one of the most polluted and health-endangering towns in the world. People who insist to stay are them who desperately need to make a living from the factory. Imagine, if the inhabitants are trying to leave the city, why would tourists bet on their lives to visit the creepy place?
5. Manaraga Mountain
Situated 1600 km away from Moscow in the Yugyd Va National Park of Nether-Polar region of Russia, Manaraga is the most dangerous peak in the north of the country. Yes, it is beautiful and offers picturesque view from the top, but no tour guide will ever dare to take you there. It is not about the physical condition of the mountain that makes it dangerous, but more of the “unseen” things of it. Manaraga means Bear Paw and is famous as the “voodoo mountain”. There is something about it that doesn’t let climbers get to the peak. Despite the 1.662 meters of height, which can be considered not extreme, even experts find themselves helpless to climb too far. The ancient people treated the mountain as a sanctuary and it must be respected like a holy object. Nobody ever succeeded at reaching the top of Manaraga because of the sudden change of weather condition or unexplained phenomenon. Sure there were sceptics who refused to believe in such supernatural things, but the fact always beat and stopped them from conquering Manaraga. The mystery is yet to be debunked, but maybe it will never happen.
By now maybe your curiosity is already bubbling and making you feel like you need to see these 5 dangerous places in Russia you should actually avoid. But, considering how serious the situations are in these spots, maybe you should just leave them alone and shift to another way to learn about them closer. Forbidden places have always been more interesting to be visited, indeed, but you have to take into mind that they are surely forbidden for reasons that can’t be taken for granted. Russia is an exceptional country because of the crazy facts spread across it like these five places, but there are far more beautiful and safe regions of it that you can definitely visit without having to endanger your life or your future.