Fungus found growing at Chernobyl that actually eats radiation!

Scientists were pretty confused by how the fungus could survive in an area that had been so heavily tainted with radiation…

The walls at Chernobyl are being covered by a strange fungus that actually eats and grows on radiation. In 1986, the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were undergoing routine testing when something went terribly wrong.  In what has been described as the worst nuclear accident in history, two explosions blew the roof off one of the plant’s reactors and the entire area and its surroundings was covered in enormous amounts of radiation making it unfit for human life.

Five years after the disaster, the walls of the Chernobyl reactor began to be covered by an unusual fungus.  Scientists were pretty confused by how the fungus could survive in an area that had been so heavily tainted with radiation.  They finally figured out that not only was it able to survive the radioactive environment, but the fungus actually seemed to thrive on it.

According to a report by Fox News, it took another ten years for researchers to test the fungus and discover that it was rich in melanin, the same pigment that is present in human skin and helps protect it from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun.  In the fungi, the presence of the melanin allowed it to absorb that radiation and change it into another type of energy which would allow it to grow.

Read more: the vintage news