Stranger Things Theory Speculates There Will Be a Chernobyl Connection

Set in the 1980s, Netflix's Stranger Things is no, well, stranger to 80s nostalgia. The look, feel, sound, and even overall cultural vibe is firmly rooted in the reality of the decade, a landscape that makes for genuinely fascinating backdrop for the series' science fiction horror story. Now, with the popular series headed into its third season next month, fans are starting to figure out what trajectory Stranger Things may take -- including a compelling theory that the fictional world of Hawkins, Indiana may find itself having a connection to the real-life horror of Chernobyl.

Over on Reddit, user Singular94 suggests that with Stranger Things third season set in mid-1985, in terms of timing the series should put things at the year 1986 if the series gets a fourth season. Making it to 1986 would put the series in the same general timeline as the Chernobyl disaster which took place in the early morning hours April 26, 1986 near the city of Pripyat, Ukraine.

Now, the Reddit theory is pretty much limited to just that -- the series timeline is on a course with the horrifying nuclear catastrophe -- but it's something that actually could work. On Stranger Things, Eleven was raised in the Hawkins National Laboratory, a facility that generally falls under the umbrella of the US Department of Energy. As fans of the series know, experiments at the laboratory is what opened up the Gate to the Upside Down. It's not impossible that, as this was the Cold War era, Soviet scientists could be doing the same sort of things, perhaps with the consequences being the Chernobyl disaster in the show's fictional world. Or, perhaps they'd go the direction a Russian film currently in development in response to HBO's recent hit Chernobyl mini-series and blames he disaster on the Americans -- Demogorgons optional.

It's an intriguing possibility, but what's more likely is that should Stranger Things make it to 1986 in their timeline the disaster will only be mentioned in passing as part of the current events of the day. While Soviet officials did attempt to hide the disaster at Chernobyl from the world, they couldn't hide the radioactivity, which quickly clued in the West as to the incident with the event making headlines all over the world. Even beyond the news angle, with Chernobyl being one of the last major events of the Cold War and the series having seen US and USSR relations as a subplot previously, the event could still get a passing nod.


Stranger Things 3 arrives on Netflix July 4.

Do you think Stranger Things will address Chernobyl should it get a season four? Let us know your thoughts on this latest theory in the comments below.