Guess what's scary? Mutant butterflies are scary. MUTANT BUTTERFLIES are really, really scary. Especially when said butterflies mutated as a direct result of nuclear fallout exposure; in this case, the disturbingly large quantities of radiation which escaped into the environment during last year's Fukushima Daiichi power plant disaster in Japan. Of course it was only a matter of time before scientists monitoring Fukushima animal life were bound to make some type of extremely alarming discovery. We all knew that, despite the Japanese government's attempts to pass off the "low-level radiation" as "insignificant." Certainly the scientists knew what to expect ... right?
Well, they thought they knew what to expect. But even the scientists were shocked when they found the mutant butterflies (which is really, really, really scary). Guess why?
Because according to the lead researcher, "It has been believed that insects are very resistant to radiation." Meaning, those tough critters were among the last Fukushima life forms scientists expected to suffer "rampant mutations" (which, if you really want to know, include "dented eyes" and "rumpled or underdeveloped wings").
So what the hell does that mean for human beings?!
"We just don't know," said the lead researcher.
Great, that's super-comforting. We just don't know. But they know enough to be worried, at least from the sound of this excerpt from the actual study:
Massive amount of radioactive materials were released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to environment due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. However, precise information on exactly what occurred and on what is still ongoing is yet to be established. This lack of information raises serious concerns about biological influences on living organisms that could ultimately produce long-term destruction of ecosystems and cause chronic diseases. Prompt and reliable evaluation of the biological influences of the artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Daiichi NPP is lacking, and only a few studies have been performed to date.
Well, at least now we have a pretty good idea of exactly how the zombie apocalypse is going to start.
Are you afraid of what the Fukushima scientists might discover next?
Image via strange ones/Flickr