The Chernobyl Fungus That Eats Radiation
Most of you reading this article are at least vaguely familiar with the Chernobyl disaster, a clusterfuck of experimentation and negligence that led to the worst nuclear plant disaster in history. It irradiated a huge area around the plant and left the neighboring town of Pripyat so much of a ghost town that we declared it one of the creepiest places on Earth. It's so apocalyptic that they've even based video game levels on it.
One of the less successful RollerCoaster Tycoon scenarios.
But even in this area that is as close to Fallout-like radioactive wasteland as real world can offer, life prevails. The dead, contaminated Red Forest created by the radiation is showing signs of life. Rare and endangered animals have found a safe haven in the area avoided by humans. And, inside the ominous plant -- on the Ground Zero site -- mushrooms are happily feasting on radiation.
That's right: There is life inside the reactor of Chernobyl. And it eats radiation.
We didn't say it looks cool
This radiotropic fungus has adapted to turn gamma radiation into food -- it's not the only organism that can absorb radiation, but it is by far the best at it. The fungus' radiation-eating properties obviously piqued scientists interests since it could help radically reduce radiation levels in contaminated areas. But there's also another reason science wants to take a closer look at the Chernobyl mushroom: The scientists are looking at ways to use the radiation absorbing fungus as food.
The resulting mutation into Mushroom Man did nothing for this
guy's social life, especially when he started releasing spores.