Inside creepy abandoned ‘nuclear-powered’ lighthouse perched on remote rock in Russia’s far east left to rot

A CREEPY lighthouse left to rot sits ominously on a remote Island, yet hundreds of tourists make the treacherous trip there each year.

The abandoned site, located on Cape Aniva island in the far east of Russia, is one of the most inaccessible lighthouses in the world.

The 100ft tower was built by Japan and taken over by the USSR

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The 100ft tower was built by Japan and taken over by the USSRCredit: Getty
This abandoned lighthouse is now an attraction for adventurous tourists

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This abandoned lighthouse is now an attraction for adventurous touristsCredit: Getty
The lantern is intact and the view from the top is spectacular

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The lantern is intact and the view from the top is spectacularCredit: Getty
At the time, the southern half of the 600-mile-long island was part of the Japanese

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At the time, the southern half of the 600-mile-long island was part of the Japanese

The structure, known as Nakashiretoko, once housed 12 crew members and was powered by nuclear energy.

Built by Japanese engineers from 1937 to 1939, it was designed to alert maritime traffic.

Its exposed position meant the light – which revolved on a bed of liquid mercury – could be seen up to 19 nautical miles away.

It was essential in warning boats of dangerous hazards, including underwater currents, frequent fog and hidden rocky shoals.

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At the time, the southern half of the 600-mile-long island was part of the Japanese empire while the northern half was Russian.

It always has a ‘wow-effect’ on them

Dmitri KulikovTravel expert

Despite being hard to reach by boat and inaccessible by land, the workers managed to build a nine-story concrete lighthouse that stands 100 feet above the waves.

The island became part of the Soviet Union after WW2 and later underwent several modifications.

However, it did require a lot of maintenance and extra resources as the equipment often broke down.

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Several crew members continued to live in the lighthouse while it was under USSR control.

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Its remote location made delivering supplies and spare parts to the workers challenging.

This led to officials deciding to make the Aniva lighthouse autonomous in 1990.

To accomplish this, they installed a nuclear battery powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator.

It was one of 132 Soviet lighthouses that were powered in this way.

The lamp was replaced with, Strontium-90, atomic batteries, which allowed the lighthouse to operate for 10 years without ever needing to be recharged.

Similar generators have also been used on NASA space probes.

The batteries kept powering the lighthouse until 2006, after which it never shone again.

Today the derelict site attracts tourists from all around the globe who make the dangerous trip to admire the view from the top.

“The lighthouse is in satisfactory condition for now”, travel expert Dmitri Kulikov told the Russia Beyond website.

“It is still safe to visit, but it may soon become dangerous, as there are parts that have begun to deteriorate.

“While the tower is made of concrete, parts of the brickwork, metal doors and structures have begun to rust badly.”

Reaching the remote island is not for the faint of heart and involves a 90-minute drive to the nearest settlement.

This is followed by a two-hour boat journey and a perilous climb up the rocks using ropes to reach the base of the lighthouse.

Those who have been say it is worth the effort.

“When tourists get there for the first time, it always has a ‘wow-effect’ on them,” said Kulikov.

“The lighthouse looks epic: rugged, unyielding, it stands in the middle of the sea and overhangs a steep cliff.

“It’s completely grey now, but, if you look closely, you can see that it used to be coloured in stripes.

“It conveys an impression of total abandonment.”

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It comes after an explorer revealed what’s inside an abandoned Soviet military hospital, which has been untouched for more than 30 years.

And this spooky theme park in Venezuela has been dubbed the “cemetery of attractions”.

Aniva is a remote rocky outcrop at the tip of Sakhalin island in Russia's Far East

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Aniva is a remote rocky outcrop at the tip of Sakhalin island in Russia’s Far EastCredit: Getty
The lighthouse is now abandoned and falling into ruins

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The lighthouse is now abandoned and falling into ruinsCredit: Getty
The lighthouse was powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, like the one that was installed on NASA's Cassini spacecraft

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The lighthouse was powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, like the one that was installed on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft