Among the first instincts when arriving at a well-known spot is to snap a photo. But in the Instagram age, going to a place specifically to snap a photo of yourself there is becoming a serious problem. Such is the case with Chernobyl in Ukraine, the site of one of the worst disasters of modern times that is, thanks to the HBO show about the explosion, seeing an influx of Instagrammers snapping selfies among the remains. In a viral tweet, user Bruno Zupan collected some recent snaps of Instagrammers’ visits to Chernobyl.
Meanwhile in Chernobyl: Instagram influencers flocking to the site of the disaster. pic.twitter.com/LnRukoLirQ
— Bruno Zupan (@komacore) June 9, 2019
Visiting Chernobyl on organized tours is actually becoming more common, as nature begins to fill in the ruins and destruction, creating a unique landscape that is beginning to resemble rebirth more than death. According to CNN, there has been a 35 percent increase in tour bookings since the show first aired in May of this year. The idea of visiting a traumatic site specifically for the sake of likes and follows is rubbing many the wrong way. Especially when the Instagrammer strips to their underwear in an attempt to turn all attention to themselves, instead of the site that devastated the lives of millions of innocent people.
“It’s wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion,” Craig Mazin, the show’s creator, said in a tweet posted on Tuesday. “But yes, I’ve seen the photos going around. If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.”
Chernobyl isn’t the first spot to face HBO-induced over-tourism in recent years. The Dark Hedges from Game Of Thrones is in reality little more than a row of trees along a residential street in rural Northern Ireland, but now sees busloads of tourists stopping for photos on a daily basis.