Geekologie – Gadgets, Gizmos, and Awesome Mothra Nears: Mutant Butterflies Found Near Fukushima
In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with old Japanese monster movies, mutant butterflies have been found to be breeding near the site of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima power plant disaster. The butterflies are said to have the strength of ten men and an insatiable appetite for revenge. Just kidding, I’d be boarding myself up in the basement right now if that was the case. They do have color, wing-shape, eye and antennae mutations though.
In May 2011, researchers collected more than 100 pale grass blue butterflies in and around the Fukushima prefecture and found that 12% of them had abnormalities or mutations. When those butterflies mated, the rate of mutations in the offspring rose to 18%, according to the study, which added that some died before reaching adulthood. When the offspring mated with healthy butterflies that weren’t affected by the nuclear crisis, the abnormality rate rose to 34%, indicating that the mutations were being passed on through genes to offspring at high rates even when one of the parent butterflies was healthy.
The scientists wanted to find out how things stood after a longer amount of time and again collected more than 200 butterflies last September. Twenty-eight percent of the butterflies showed abnormalities, but the rate of mutated offspring jumped to 52%, according to researchers. The study indicated that second-generation butterflies, the ones collected in September, likely saw higher numbers of mutations because they were exposed to the radiation either as larvae or earlier than adult butterflies first collected.
Hey — let’s all take a minute to be thankful we aren’t mutated butterflies right now. I know sometimes with work and money and relationships that life seems hard, but at least our wings aren’t mutated, you know? “Wait — you have wings?” X-MEN, ATTACK!
Thanks to RealBrianL, Fallout Boy, Jeff, Evil Ares, Brian and Nick, who all have NEAR mutant sized man-hammers.