You may remember that there was a huge nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan in 2011, that caused humans to abandon the surrounding areas due to concerns about high levels of radiation. What happens when humans leave a city undisturbed? Nature takes over. A recent report from Japan describes the scramble to halt the growth of Fukushima’s wild boar population, which has gotten nearly out of control since people stopped hunting them. The boars are too radioactive to be eaten, so an animal that was once a delicacy is now a threat.
The radioactive boar population is so high in the quarantine zone that they’re now wandering further away and invading the villages just beyond the limits of the disaster area. People can’t seem to kill them fast enough, and there is no place to safely bury the corpses of the ones they do kill. Radioactive wild boars terrorizing Japanese villagers sounds straight out of a weird 1950s sci-fi horror film, but reality is always stranger than fiction.
Anyone who grew up during the Cold War era has a healthy fear of nuclear war and has absolutely thought about how they would live after the world is blanketed in radioactive fallout. But most people probably haven’t considered the scariest consequences of a nuclear disaster. Mutant radioactive wild animals running amok and taking over the world sounds way worse than any of the creepy TV movies of the ’80s made things look. All this time we’ve been afraid of finding ourselves in Chernobyl-esque wastelands fighting each other for food, but perhaps we should truly be in fear of what happens after you’ve survived a near-apocalyptic disaster. When humans are too preoccupied trying to sort out our own mistakes and rebuild our broken world, radioactive creatures will be lurking in the shadows, plotting our final end.
We (probably) won’t be involved in a nuclear war anytime soon, depending on how Kim Jong-Un feels day-to-day, but the radiation in Japan continues to seep into the ocean and make its way across the world. Could radioactive sea creatures be our next biggest threat?