Bikini Atoll, located in the Marshall Islands, was once used as a nuclear testing site by the United States. 70 years ago, a total of 23 bombs were dropped on this piece of land—including one bomb that was 1,000 times bigger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Today, the once-paradise island is blooming back to life. According to new research carried by a team of scientists from Stanford University, the site is teeming with an abundant ecosystem that includes a variety of plant and animal wildlife.
The island was once declared uninhabitable and all 167 of its residents had to be moved. Today, scientists are reporting car-sized corals, fish such as snapper and tuna, and crabs.
Their work was recently featured in a PBS show called Big Pacific, a natural history TV series.
Professor of marine science Steve Palumbi and his team have been studying the effects of radiation on marine life.
Their research led them to the conclusion that the flora and fauna of this Micronesian island are “remarkably resilient.”
This is in stark contrast with the health of the ecosystem found around Chernobyl, where the animals studied displayed deformities and mutations.
Professor Palumbi believes that the reason why the wildlife has fared so well is that they were left alone for such a long time. “In a strange way they are protected by the history of this place,” he told The Guardian.
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