There is something living, thriving in the abandoned site of the Chernobyl disaster. Like the plot of a low budget sci-fi flick, a black slime has been discovered to be growing on the chemical plant’s walls.
Scientists didn’t expect to find anything living in the highly radioactive wasteland, so naturally, they were amazed when a robot sent in to investigate, discovered the thick black ooze. What the robot’s findings revealed was that the slime was a collection of fungi that amazingly enough, was using the gamma radiation as a food source. Some of the samples even appeared to grow faster when exposed to radiation 500 times the normal background level. So should we begin to freak that a radioactive slime monster is going to emerge from Chernobyl?
Of course not. What may be a possibility though is finding a way to use this discovery for growing plants or fungi in space. The fungi use melanin (a chemical found in human skin) in the same fashion as plants use chlorophyll. Iozing radiation abounds in space and if something can grow in a radioactive area like Chernobyl, might space mushrooms be a possibility?
Regardless of what kinds of possibilities might evolve from this discovery, it’s baffling that something could not only live but thrive in a highly radioactive space like Chernobyl. Before this, the only thing one might expect to survive that sort of radiation would be cockroaches and Keith Richards.