Chernobyl Miniseries Prompts 35 Percent Spike in Travel to Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

iStock/fmajor
iStock/fmajor

Since HBO released the first episode of Chernobyl on May 6, the miniseries has grown into a sensation, receiving glowing reviews and surpassing The Wire and Breaking Bad to become the top-rated show on IMDb. After watching the chilling recreation of the 1986 nuclear disaster, many viewers had the same question: Is the Chernobyl exclusion zone open to visitors? It is, and as CNN reports, tourism there has risen 35 percent as a result of the show.

Following the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant's RBMK reactor 33 years ago, a 2500-square-mile exclusion zone was established around the disaster site. Radiation levels are nowhere near where they were in 1986, but the vegetation, buildings, and wildlife in and around Pripyat, Ukraine are still radioactive. It isn't safe to live there, but by signing up for a tour you can visit the area surrounding the power plant.

Victor Korol, director of the tour company SoloEast, said that bookings for trips to Chernobyl have spiked 35 percent since the miniseries premiered. He told CNN, "It's almost as though they watch it and then jump on a plane over."

A day tour of Chernobyl costs $99. Once inside the exclusion zone, adventurers can explore the town of Pripyat, which was abruptly evacuated in 1986; stand under the Ferris wheel at the abandoned amusement park, and see the infamous nuclear reactor (safely enclosed in a steel structure to contain radiation) from an observation point 1000 feet away. Though the company says day trips to Chernobyl are "100 percent" safe, guests are asked to stick to approved routes, wear clothing that provides maximum coverage to their bodies, and avoid touching buildings and shrubbery to keep radiation exposure to a minimum.

If you can't make it to Ukraine to see Chernobyl, or aren't interested in being exposed to even mild levels of radiation, you can check out photos taken inside the exclusion zone from the safety of your home. You can also learn more about what it's like to visit here.

[h/t CNN]

This Outdoor Lantern Will Keep Mosquitoes Away—No Bug Spray Necessary

Thermacell, Amazon
Thermacell, Amazon

With summer comes outdoor activities, and with those activities come mosquito bites. If you're one of the unlucky people who seem to attract the insects, you may be tempted to lock yourself inside for the rest of the season. But you don't have to choose between comfort and having a cocktail on the porch, because this lamp from Thermacell ($25) keeps outdoor spaces mosquito-free without the mess of bug spray.

The device looks like an ordinary lantern you would display on a patio, but it works like bug repellent. When it's turned on, a fuel cartridge in the center provides the heat needed to activate a repellent mat on top of the lamp. Once activated, the repellent in the mat creates a 15-by-15-foot bubble of protection that repels any mosquitos nearby, making it a great option for camping trips, days by the pool, and backyard barbecues.

Mosquito repellent lantern.

Unlike some other mosquito repellents, this lantern is clean, safe, and scent-free. It also provides light like a real lamp, so you can keep pests away without ruining your backyard's ambience.

The Thermacell mosquito repellent lantern is now available on Amazon. If you've already suffered your first mosquito bites of the summer, here's some insight into why that itch can be so excruciating.

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A Luxurious Private Island in Fiji Is Heading to Auction

Platinum Luxury Auctions
Platinum Luxury Auctions

There may be less expensive ways to get away from it all, but few are as luxurious as owning your own private island. Soon that dream will become a reality for someone with money to spend on real estate. According to Robb Report, Mai Island off the coast of Fiji is headed to auction.

Mai Island is the picture of isolation. To get there by boat, visitors must take a 90-minute trip from the neighboring island of Vanua Levu. The only other ways to access the island are by helicopter or seaplane.

The secluded location offers plenty to anyone willing to make the trek there. On the southwest side, there's a quarter-mile of sandy beach, and on the opposite end, there's a deep-water anchorage perfect for parking mega-yachts. The 32-acre island also features waterfalls, 300-year-old ruins, and a freshwater lake pristine enough to supply water to the mainland.

After a day of lounging by the ocean, residents can retreat to the cozy one-bedroom villa with its own spacious deck. There are also two separate cottages for any staff members on the island.

When Platinum Luxury Auctions sells Mai Island on Saturday, July 25, it will be one of the rare Fijian properties available for buyers residing outside the island chain to purchase outright. This auction doesn't list a minimum price, but it will likely garner some high bids. Recently, sellers listed the island at $4.2 million.

Villa on private island.

Private island in Fiji.

Beach on private island.

[h/t Robb Report]