This all goes back to the 1950s, when whipping nuclear weapons into the atmosphere and seeing what happened was what all of the really cool governments were doing.
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You weren't getting invited to any boy-girl parties if you didn't.
All of this nuclear heavy petting had the minor side effect of spreading radioactive isotopes across half the world. It became absorbed into plants, animals, and basically every other part of the food chain, and if you were alive at the time, you were at least a little bit radioactive. Eventually the world collectively said "holy shit," and in 1963 everyone agreed to stop doing this.
And so everything ticked along just fine. Eventually, after a few decades passed, and humanity had mutated into whatever we are now ...
Fatter, I guess.
... some scientists wanted to find out how fast fat cells are created and replaced in humans. One great way to do this in test animals is to feed them irradiated food, which contains a specific radioactive marker called carbon-14, and then count how the irradiated fat cells appear and degrade over time. Doing this in humans would be great, except, you know, morals.
At this point they realized that anyone alive in the era of nuclear weapons testing would have already eaten food massively irradiated with carbon-14. Last week we talked about how this fact was exploited by forensic scientists to solve crimes. But the same hilarious bit of mass poisoning could also be used to study the life-cycle of human fat cells, by literally measuring how radioactive people's asses were.
Employing what I can only a imagine was a well-lubed Geiger counter. And a smile.