Sounds from Dangerous Places: Chernobyl
I've devoted many a post to the way the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone -- that 25km swath evacuated around the Ukrainian nuclear reactor that failed in 1986 -- looked. It's a wonderland of creepy decay, its buildings full of personal effects because the people who lived there were given so little time to evacuate. I've never thought about how the place might sound, though. Acoustic artist Peter Cusack went there to find out, and it turns out that it sounds amazing there -- like a lush Eden full of life. That's because it is: when the humans left town, the animals moved in. The Exclusion Zone has become one of the great animal habitats of Europe, and as far as anyone can tell, none of them have three heads. They are thriving, as Cusack's recordings "Chernobyl Dawn" and "Chernobyl Frogs" give testament to. You can listen to them here. They're really quite relaxing -- if a little eerie.