Prypiat: Russia's Secret Radioactive Wonderland

From Outside's visit to the site of the Chernobyl meltdown to Vanity Fair's inquiry into Mel Gibson's troubled private life, The Daily Beast picks our favorite longform journalism from around the Web this week.

Viktor Pobedinsky / AP Photo

Viktor Pobedinsky / AP Photo

The area around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in eastern Ukraine—the site of the biggest nuclear disaster in history—has been forbidden to humans for 25 years. The ruins are now overgrown and teeming with wildlife—deer, elk, wolves, foxes, birds—thriving at unprecedented levels.

Gleb Garanich / Reuters

A room containing Soviet placards in the abandoned city of Prypiat, near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, on February 22, 2011.

Gleb Garanich / Reuters

A room containing appliances in the abandoned city of Prypiat, near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, on February 22, 2011.

Elena Filatova

A Geiger counter reading of the radioactive level at the Chernobyl power plant, in 2003.

Viktor Pobedinsky / AP Photo

A deserted hotel in Prypiat

Viktor Pobedinsky / AP Photo

Writing on a deserted apartment building quotes the Soviet Union's national anthem: "Lenin's Party, people's power/ Leads us to triumph of Communism."

Keith Adams