The former island paradise of Bikini Atoll is slowing blooming back to life, 70 years after the United States dropped 23 nuclear bombs on it, including a device in 1954 that was 1,100-times larger than the Hiroshima atom bomb.
A team of scientists from Stanford University have been surprised to discover an abundance of marine life apparently thriving in the crater of Bikini Atoll, which was declared a nuclear wasteland after the bombings, with its 167 inhabitants relocated to other islands.
Steve Palumbi, a professor in marine sciences at the university, said the effects of radiation poisoning on ocean life have never been studied in-depth, and his team’s initial research suggests it is “remarkably resilient”.
Animals studied by scientists in and around the Chernobyl blast showed deformities and mutations, but the Stanford teams initial research suggest the marine life in Bikini may have fared significantly better.
Palumbi’s team discovered a diverse eco-system of animal life in and around the bomb crater, including coral as big as “cars”, hundreds of schools of fish including tuna, sharks and snapper, and coconut crabs devouring radioactive coconuts on the shore.
Photo: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons (CC0)
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