Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Flowers Of Destruction

When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in August 1965, it devastated the plant life of the area. Over a radius of 8 km (5 miles) from the centre of the explosion, trees were broken or burned and all other vegetation disappeared. The first reports on the damage predicted that nothing would grow there for 70 years. As it turned out, within a few weeks of the blast the ruins of the city were covered by a carpet of greenery and wild flowers. The heat of the explosion had actually caused seeds buried underground to germinate. Even stranger was the fact that plants that had previously been difficult to grow in Hiroshima, such as tomatoes, flourished as never before. Wheat and soybean harvests were also unexpectedly plentiful. The reason was that the fungal blights and insect pests that had hindered their growth had been killed off by the flames and the nuclear radiation

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