by every definition.

BTS 042: The Radioactive Forest of Chernobyl


The third installment of the "Unique Forest" Arc is a deadly one. The Red Forest of Chernobyl is the by-product of one of the most deadliest radioactive disasters in human history.

Nearly 4,000 acres of pine trees got "brunt out" by the absorbing the high levels of radiation, turning the pine trees to ginger-brown as they die.

Yet, they do not decay. Almost 30 years after the accident, much of the casualties within the Red Forest had not decayed as the high levels of radiation not only affects plants and animals but also fungus, microbes and insects - species fundamental to decomposition.

And this poses a serious problem. Decades of dry wood and leaves means risks of forest fires. And in April 2015, such fears came true, sparking Ukraine's largest forest fire since 1992.

The Red Forest was also within the zone of alienation - the area with the highest radiation dosage and closet to the epicenter of the accident, sparking greater fears that the fire could spread ti Chernobyl's Reactor 4 and release toxic radioactive substances into the atmosphere.

The Chernobyl accident maybe have had occurred decades ago, but it is a sleeping beast that could rear its ugly head at any time for the next 20,000 years.

You can go behind the science of this eerie forest by starting here. You can learn more about the recent fire here.

And be sure to check out the other parts of the "Unique Forest" arc

BEHIND THE SCiENcE is a series about facts of the world worth knowing, worth sharing.
Be Intrigued, stay Curious!

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