Fans of dark tourism — tourism in “hot spots with a gloomy past” – advertised another “Chernobyl”. They were invited to visit “the eerie island of anthrax, which remained uninhabited for 48 years after the deadly tests.” We are talking about the island of Gruinard, located 1 km from the coast of Scotland.
The “dark past” of the island is as follows: in 1942, British military scientists began to test the possibility of using deadly chemical and biological weapons on the island. Specifically, the test site studied the use of anthrax, a deadly bacterial infection that, when inhaled, eaten, or absorbed through broken skin, causes a range of devastating medical effects, including huge ulcers. The remote and uninhabited island was quite suitable for this purpose of the British. 80 sheep were brought to the island, next to which bacterial bombs were detonated. The effectiveness was confirmed – the sheep died within a few days. But the island could not be protected from the consequences of the release of bacteria for 48 years.
More precisely, only in 1986 the island began to be cleared of anthrax. A solution of formaldehyde diluted with sea water was sprayed over the island and the contaminated topsoil was removed. As a result, the sheep, which were once again tested, remained healthy and in 1990 – 48 years after the tests – the island was declared safe.
After that, the heirs of the original owners really bought the island for £500 and decided to recoup the dangerous property by advertising the island for lovers of the appropriate type of tourism. True, tourists are still warned that they undertake a visit to the island “at their own peril and risk.” According to experts, anthrax is a very tenacious bacterium and its spores could well have survived. However, amateurs leave not the most attractive reviews. The fact is that there is almost nothing to see on the island, except for a couple of ruins and a lot of open space. “What to see: Nothing but the most treeless flat island. What's left of its dark history is just some kind of dark aura. Visiting the island can be called a disproportionate logistical effort, although it is possible. But there's absolutely nothing to see there,” the Dark Tourism themed site says.
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