Radioactive Chernobyl Horses Are Happier Without Humans

Tim Denning

How to live a better life, according to a horse.

Photo by Patrick Pleul/GettyImages

Humans ruin everything.

That what the Przewalski endangered horse residing on the radioactive site of Chernobyl thinks. (Okay, I put those words in their little horsey mouths.)

The month before I was born a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl exploded. When 116,000 people are forced to evacuate an area forever, and it is described as “poisonous for 1000 years,” it’s not hard to imagine a post-apocalyptic landscape.

As a young adult I watched an episode of 60 Minutes that took the audience inside the control room of the famous nuclear site. The episode was truly frightening. Chernobyl was described in intimate detail like a house of horrors full of dead people and deformed folk. The thought of Chernobyl has scared me for years. That was until I read about the radioactive Chernobyl horses.

Dr Mike Wood and Professor Nick Beresford presented a different Chernobyl. They wanted to show the remarkable ability for nature to thrive without polluting humans and their compass of desires. During the course of a year they used cameras to capture more than 90,000 camera days worth of footage, and take 155,000 images.

In 1998, 31 wild Przewalski horses moved into Chernobyl. Mike and Nick were able to determine that these horses were the same ones they observed with their cameras. The horses managed to breed with other horses. There are now 150 of the cute little suckers roaming the radioactive forests.

If humans can’t survive in Chernobyl then a wild horse definitely shouldn’t. Yet they do. These horses defy human expectations. They spit in the face of science and their human slave-driving, McDonald’s fed blobs, who would rather ride them into the sunset. “Giddy up horsey” isn’t a phrase they respond to.

I like these Chernobyl horses and their badass attitude. They can teach us how to live a better life. horse, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (Ukraine), September 2015. Photo Credit: Nick Beresford

How to Live like a Radioactive Chernobyl Horse

1. You do you.

Humans will tell you what you can’t do, never what you can do. Be yourself. If you like walking around a forest you’re told is too dangerous to walk in, then do it. Don’t let other people’s human fears stop you from exploring.

2. Forget the critics.

Chernobyl horses defy the critics. They know something is up. They know they shouldn’t be situated where they are. They watch teams of scientists come in and out of Chernobyl looking for answers. They see the white radioactive suits and wonder what all the fuss is about. They can’t understand humans, but they can interpret their judging eyes.

Chernobyl is these horse’s slice of heaven.

It’s not a place for everybody, and that’s what they love about it. They made Chernobyl their home. You can make a place your home too when you decide to. You don’t need to travel all around the world like a domesticated horse. You can be a wild, free horse and stay in the same place for your entire life.

3. It’s only radioactive if you think it is.

These Chernobyl horses don’t give a f*ck. They don’t see what the problem is. In their minds, a place is only radioactive if you think it is.

What you put into your mind determines your reality.

You can live a long, happy horse life and be miserable. Or you can live life on the fringes of insanity and without longevity as a guarantee, and truly experience life.

Chernobyl horses live in their comfort zone, which looks like a danger zone to species such as humans and Area 51 Aliens.

Maybe what everybody is telling you is bad for you is actually just what you need to elevate your life to the next level.

4. Roll in the grass.

Look at the cover image of this story. Now that’s a happy horsey. The Chernobyl horse isn’t afraid to roll in radioactive grass with a smile. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” says every Chernobyl horse.

Don’t be afraid to be a little outrageous and roll in the grass once in a while. Too much work is bad for your brain.

5. Make friends with the other species.

Chernobyl horses don’t live in this strange corner of the planet by themselves. In fact, without humans, many other species have been able to thrive along with them. The original horses have done it (bred) with other horses and spread out across the land. They co-exist together without humans.

The Chernobyl horse doesn’t just make friends with their own kind. They love every species equally. They are happy to share their radioactive grass with whoever dares to enjoy it with them.

They don’t see color, gender, race or species. They just see living things.

6. Spend quiet contemplation in nuclear friendly zones.

It’s peaceful in Chernobyl without humans. The Chernobyl horse spends its entire life in quiet solitude. It’s how they’ve been able to survive so long without dying from their radioactive surroundings.

Deserted parts of the planet are the best ones to visit. Grazing outside an old, destroyed, forgotten power plant that used to be buzzing with a hive of activity is a stark contrast. The Chernobyl horse paints that contrast into their nighttime dreams.

Seeing what was, can help you see what will be.

7. If you’re not into horses then adopt a Chernobyl puppy.

You can actually adopt a Chernobyl puppy. This teaches us that the power to save another is perhaps the greatest gift we have to give. There is always someone that needs saving, even if you don’t like horses.

8. A Covid horse vs a Chernobyl horse.

What’s the difference?

None. They’ve both endured great moments in history. Both events changed everything. They acted like a great reset to human consciousness. They taught both types of horse what mattered, and more importantly, what was possible.

You can experience a tragedy and still thrive because of it. You can use hope, rather than radioactive fear, to survive. You can witness something cataclysmic, recover, and go back to eating your greens and rolling in the grass like it’s 1999.

Final Thought

You have more in common with a Chernobyl horse than you think. Let this rare breed of horse remind you of a better way of life.

Even when the media describes the world as burning around you, you can just go about your day like you just don’t care. That’s what a Chernobyl horse would suggest you do.

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