Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fukushima Veggies Deformed

freaky fruit 1
Fukushima vegetables, seen in these photos uploaded to Imgur, are gnarled and have strange deformities. Are these mutant vegies the result of the 2011 nuclear power plant disaster? (Photo: Imgur)
freaky fruit 2
Four peaches for the price of two. (Photo: Imgur)
freaky fruit 3

Two heads are better than one, right?
Photos of what look like malformed vegetables from Fukushima, Japan, have surfaced on Imgur. The strange produce has deformities, bumps and lumps all over it, and looks like mutant cabbage patch kids beamed to Earth after having been harvested on an alien planet.

Is the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, a result of the disastrous 2011 earthquake and tsunami, to blame for the freaky produces' appearance?

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melt down occurred after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated Japan's coastal region in Fukushima in March 2011. It is the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986.

The catastrophe caused the deaths of some 18.500 people. However, none of these were the result of radiation exposure from the meltdown at the power plant.

Still, high levels of radiation have been detected in groundwater near the plant. CBC News reported in June of this year that officials discovered strontium-90, a byproduct of the fission of uranium and plutonium in nuclear reactors, in the groundwater at levels 30 times higher than the government's safety standard.

"High levels of tritium, a less harmful substance, had also been found, Toshihiko Fukuda, a general manager at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), told a news conference," CBC reports. "They suspect the radioactive material was released amid the meltdowns that rocked the plant following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and has been circulating in groundwater."

In Feb. 2013, the World Health Organization, or WHO, released a report detailing the risk of radiation poisoning in the Fukushima region. They looked specifically at the increase in cancer incidence throughout the area. But, little correlation was found.

"For the general population inside and outside of Japan, the predicted risks are low and no observable increases in cancer rates above baseline rates are anticipated," WHO reported.
This isn't the first time the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster has sparked fears that radiation was causing deformities in nature. In August 2012, researchers in Japan discovered evidence of mutant butterflies. IScience Times reported that researchers collected 144 specimens of the pale grass blue butterfly, a common species in Japan, two months after the disaster.

They found that 12 percent of the butterflies showed signs of mutation and abnormalities, including antennae disfigurement, small wings and a change in color patterns.
So are the apparent Fukushima vegetables the result of radiation? What do you think?
To see more photos of the Fukushima vegetables, click here.

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