Animals, particularly birds, have made use of the zone's empty buildings. Many ecologists say that the absence of man has gradually led to an increase in the biodiversity there. But one team of researchers say they have seen evidence of the underlying effects of contamination.
Pripyat's famous Ferris wheel was never used. The town's fairground was just days from opening when the accident happened. Today, tourists - most of them wearing dust masks to avoid breathing in contaminated dust - visit what is now a ghost town.