One of the most dangerous photographs in history

In the image below, the mound that looks like slag from a foundry and was dubbed “elephant’s foot” is actually a radioactive mass. The photograph was taken inside the nuclear plant at Chernobyl almost eight months after the disaster that would mark human history. For some it is nothing more than a simple capture, but the peculiarity of this image is the danger faced by the people present at that time, the Russian scientists who were exploring the underground corridor of reactor number four.

Elephant's foot in Chernobyl

Just 30 seconds of exposure to this radioactive mass would have been enough to cause dizziness and fatigue that would have appeared a week later. Two minutes of exposure and the blood vessels would be damaged enough to trigger severe bleeding. Four minutes of exposure would have generated fever, diarrhea and vomiting. And 300 seconds of exposure would translate into only 48 hours of life.

Face to face with death.

The cool aspect about this photograph is definitely the damage caused by the radiation. Just look at the squiggles of lights, which seem to be in several places at once and not precisely because of the photographic technique of exposure. In fact, this was because while the photograph was being taken, the camera (placed on a tripod at a “safe” distance) suffered severe radiation damage in the environment.

Elephant foot two in chernobyl

According to this publication, the man in the background and the cameraman are already dead. Supposedly, the radiation they experienced at that time was so high that it did not allow them to live more than a couple of years after this image, even if they only went to take the photograph and immediately left the place. If you stayed a few seconds in that place, it is possible that death has come much faster.



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