This year’s first murder hornet nest was already spotted in Washington state but those are nothing to worry about. Folks over in Fukushima, Japan, on the other hand, have “a new mutant species of radioactive boar-pig” to cope with. Maybe they can turn them into Godzilla chow. It’s been rumored he eats radiation.
Mutant radioactive swine
You have to look real close on a dark night to see them glow but researchers near Fukushima have confirmed a new species has wandered out from the radioactive wasteland. Radiation is still emitting from the crippled reactor and has been since 2011.
The new study investigating “the impact of nuclear disasters on the local habitat” was glad to note no “adverse effects” on the genetics of the animals. Not that there weren’t lots of “effects” which weren’t as “adverse.” Like the freaky new self-cooking wild bacon. “However,” they write, “wild boars (Sus scrofa leucomystax) have proliferated in the area, after being left to roam freely from the lack of humans.”
Understandably, these irradiated boars “have bred with domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus) that escaped from nearby properties after farmers had to flee.” What came next is “a new hybrid species.” Mutant radioactive boar-pigs.
Isn’t that how the turtles got started? Tokyo residents have started taking out Godzilla insurance because everyone’s expecting him to wake up any day now. He allegedly hibernates until there’s enough radiation around for a good snack.
Donovan Anderson, a researcher at Fukushima University in Japan, “has been driving through the land exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear reactor.” Wearing lead underwear.
“For the study, Anderson colleagues analyzed DNA samples from muscles of 243 wild boars, pigs and boar-pig hybrids, taken from local slaughterhouses.” Yep, they were radioactive all right. From the ones they examined, “31 wild boar were hybrids, representing 16 percent of the wild boar from that region.
Blame the cross breeding
Anderson found lots of evidence there was “successful hybridization between pigs and native wild boar in this area.” Just because they are nuclear mutants doesn’t mean the radiation is what made them that way.
“While the boar and hybrids are technically radioactive, the radiation had nothing to do with the genetic changes — this was the pigs’ fault.” They make a Geiger counter go off like Hillary Clinton walked in the room though. The “wild boar in Fukushima are still relatively contaminated and can range from as no detection of radionuclides to 30,000 becquerels per kilogram.”
It’s not clear how well these new radioactive mutant boar-pigs will do in the wild against the competition in the long run, so Anderson’s team recommends “that future studies assess the fitness of these hybrids and better characterize their ecological niche.” General Electric wasn’t fully prepared for the earthquake and tsunami which hit Fukushima in 2011 to cause the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
Engineers weren’t prepared for the 46-foot high tsunami. When the emergency generators failed, what happened next was “three nuclear meltdowns, three hydrogen explosions, and the release of radioactive contamination.” Which continues to this very moment. It’s okay though. Scientists say “you’ll adapt.” The good news is your grandkids won’t need night-lights anymore.