Eerie abandoned nuclear lighthouse visited by tourists despite perilous climb

A creepy lighthouse that has been left to rot on a remote island has become a tourist destination for those brave enough to make the perilous journey.

Every year, hundreds of tourists climb to the top of a deteriorating nuclear-powered lighthouse, located on a remote rock at the Cape of Aniva, in the far east of Russia.

But the journey there is brutal, with intrepid visitors first having to drive 90 minutes from the nearest settlement to get to the remote location.

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Once there they still have a two-hour boat journey ahead of them to reach the isolated lighthouse, the Mirror reports.

The perilous trip doesn't end there though, as after arriving at the lighthouse tourists have to use ropes to rock climb up the base of the abandoned building, which sits at 100ft above sea level.

Travel expert Dmitri Kulikov said that while the lighthouse is currently safe to visit, it might not stay this way forever.

He told the Russia Beyond website: “The lighthouse is in satisfactory condition for now. It is still safe to visit, but it may soon become dangerous, as there are parts that have begun to deteriorate.

“While the tower is made of concrete, parts of the brickwork, metal doors and structures have begun to rust badly."

The now derelict structure was once used by the USSR, housing 12 crew at a time who slept in living quarters on the third to fifth floors due to its isolated location.

At nine stories tall, the light from the building could be beamed up to 19 nautical miles away and it once used a lamp that revolved on a bed of liquid mercury.

But in 1990 the USSR withdrew all its workers from the structure, installing "atomic batteries" to power the lighthouse automatically.

A radioisotope thermoelectric generator was used to convert the heat generated by nuclear decay into electricity to power the building.

The batteries are able to provide reliable power for up to 10 years and by 2006 the building had fallen into complete abandonment.

Despite its derelict condition and inaccessibility, hordes of visitors are still drawn to the lighthouse due to the breathtaking views from the top and the adrenaline rush that comes with the tough journey.

Explaining the lighthouse’s pull, Dmitri continued: “When tourists get there for the first time, it always has a ‘wow-effect’ on them.

"The lighthouse looks epic: rugged, unyielding, it stands in the middle of the sea and overhangs a steep cliff."

He added: “It’s completely grey now, but, if you look closely, you can see that it used to be coloured in stripes.

“It conveys an impression of total abandonment.”


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