Vozozhdeniya was a bioweapons testing facility run by the Soviet Union during the cold war. Due to years of abuse, the land is riddled with disease.
The pressure has even changed the geography of the island, which is now more of a peninsula. The land now resembles a scene from a dystopian novel and has even been featured in the popular video game Call of Duty.
At one point, Vozozhdeniya was a beautiful fishing village located on the border of the Aral Sea. During the Cold War, the Soviets converted the island into a breeding ground for bioweapon warfare.
They built drug resistant strains of diseases such as small pox and plague. The worst of the damage however resulted from their experiments with the anthrax virus.
Anthrax was produced in huge fermenting vats in facilities across the Soviet empire.
In 1978, there was a leak in one of the facilities which lead to the death of 105 people. In 1988, the Soviets finally decided to get rid of the cache of disease they had accumulated.
They took it all to the island of Vozozhdeniya. Approximately 100–200 tons of anthrax mixed with bleach were dumped into huge pits on the island and forgotten.
In 2001, the U.S. undertook a cleaning program in Arlask-7. They were concerned that terrorists may use the information there to build bioweapons. The effort took more than 100 workers over four months, but they managed to eliminate the anthrax virus in the pits.
However, even three decades later, the virus continues to thrive in other parts of the island.