Pokémon Go, the immensely popular mobile installment of the widely-beloved Pokémon franchise, has conquered the world. Unlike previous Pokémon games, Pokémon Go utilizes the natural networking capabilities offered by mobile devices to enable players to interact with Pokémon in real geographical locations.
As a result, the Pokémon experience is now more immersive and realistic than ever. You can catch, train, and collect the eponymous fantasy creatures in every country around the globe. Whether you’re in a restaurant, department store, or public park, you can expect to see at least one person whipping out their phone to periodically check for unique and rare Pokémon.
Pokémon Go fever is now spreading to even the most remote locations on the planet. Visitors to the Chernobyl exclusion zone report that the area is positively packed with gyms and Pokéstops, the two types of digital landmark that are most integral to the mobile application’s game play. The 1986 site of a catastrophic nuclear disaster, the 10 kilometer radius surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear plant is now one of the most starkly unpopulated human-developed areas in the world, which is what makes its status as a Pokémon haven so unexpected and slightly eerie.
Anyone who wants to experience this phenomenon for themselves can do so by participating in one of the many Chernobyl tours and visitor experiences that have popped up in the last couple of years. Thankfully, Pokémon do not spawn in the still hazardous center of the exclusion zone, so safety won’t be an issue.