Toxic and secluded, this Russian city is unlike any other
If you have ever dreamed of living in a secluded city, consider Norilsk, Russia as a destination to fulfill that need.
A city of 177,000 people, Norilsk is the northernmost city in the world, located about 250 miles north of the polar circle. The industrial city is littered with factories and apartment housing that was built by the residents, according to the video posted by The Atlantic.
Filmmaker Victoria Fiore attempted to get access to the city for two years before she was finally granted a visa to enter. There, she experienced the bitter cold temperatures, which at times drop to as low as negative 50 degrees.
Norilsk is home to Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest mining and metallurgy complex. The factory releases more than two million tons of gas per year into the atmosphere, according to Fiore.
The gas causes toxic conditions throughout the city, causing the life expectancy for those who inhabit Norilsk to be an average of 20 years shorter than those in the U.S. and 10 years shorter than the average in Russia.
“It is really impossible to emphasize just how otherworldly this place was,” Fiore said to The Atlantic. “I already knew that the people of Norilsk loved their hometown, but I didn’t expect them to so openly contradict medical findings.”
Sulfur dioxide fills the air, making acid rain a common occurrence. The toxic conditions result in dead trees and other plants around the surrounding area.
The inhabitants love the city, but outsiders might think differently.