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Radioactive Snails Crawl Up From Beneath 397

slidersv writes "Reuters is reporting discovery of radioactive snails in the area where three hydrogen bombs were lost by US in the 1966. The radioactive creatures crawl up from underground, where authorities suspect deposits of uranium and plutonium may be located."
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Radioactive Snails Crawl Up From Beneath

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  • by P(0)(!P(k)+P(k+1)) ( 1012109 ) <> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @02:40AM (#16404821) Homepage Journal

    Jokes about radio-cochlear overlords aside, two things come to mind:

    • If we don't survive nuclear holocaust: what creatures, more robust than we, will? (Reminds me of the thriving Chernobylian fauna [].)
    • What ungodly mutations must an organism undergo to thrive therein?
    If the future is bleak for humanity, it may be less so for simpler, more robust organisms.
  • Holy fucking shit (Score:1, Interesting)

    by IICV ( 652597 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @02:46AM (#16404843)
    From the summary: "Where three hydrogen bombs were (OMFG HOLY SHIT) lost by the US..."

    (my emphasis added)

    What the hell? How the fuck do you lose a goddamn hydrogen bomb? Did it fall out of someone's pockets or something like that? Perhaps we should move the sofa? Did it roll under the stove? And you know, the next two were just a complete surprise.

    Just... wow. Holy shit. In general. Maybe if I read the actual article it would be less amazing.

  • by jginspace ( 678908 ) <> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @02:50AM (#16404879) Homepage Journal

    I thought the TFA might be talking about the crash of the B52 in Thule. This incident refers to a 1966 crash in Spain whereas the Thule incident happened in 1968.

    Perhaps scientists should check out the Thule site for similar happenings? More here: [] and january/28/newsid_2506000/2506207.stm []

  • by Heir Of The Mess ( 939658 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @03:19AM (#16405021)

    I'm not really good at history, so I'm wondering if someone could explain why in 1966 the Americans had B-52 bombers flying over Spain carrying 4 nuclear bombs.

    Was this some kind of pre-emptive strike plan?

    We're ICBMs not so good back then?

    It seems to me that if you could damage and capture one of these planes, you could lay your hands on 4 nuclear bombs. Something that would be a bit of a security risk.

  • by Loconut1389 ( 455297 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @03:56AM (#16405171)
    While not about radioactivity, this is related.

    Funny enough, I was microwaving a bowl of soup yesterday and some sort of gnat-like bug flew in as I was shutting the door and I didn't notice until I saw it flying around while the microwave was running. For several minutes it just kept buzzing around like nothing bothered it at all. My only other experience with microwaved creatures was when I was young and a rather large spider (tarantula size) that had had me hunting my room for hours was finally caught- suffice it to say, he didn't fare nearly as well in the microwave. For the record I've not nuked anything else (poodles for instance) since. Anyway, as this little gnat buzzed around, I wondered how he could possibly survive in that environment.

    Sometimes, against all odds, things survive where they shouldn't, and for no apparent reason. The miracle of life?
  • Re:Holy fucking shit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nametaken ( 610866 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @04:41AM (#16405359)

    So I'm reading the wikipedia article you listed there, and I learn that they searched for one of the bombs using something called, "Bayesian search theory".

    Who would have thought nuclear weaponry and anti-spam technology would be somehow related? :)

  • Kosher food (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iendedi ( 687301 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @04:57AM (#16405427) Journal
    It's interesting to think about what kinds of food would be safe to eat after a large scale nuclear war. You certainly couldn't eat shellfish or snails, because they soak up toxins very readily. Also, you should probably avoid pigs, because they eat everything. And, if you eat meat, it would be advisable to bleed it first because toxins build up in the blood.

    Makes you wonder about the real history of Kosher laws in Judaism.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:09AM (#16405951)
    If the future is bleak for humanity, it may be less so for simpler, more robust organisms.

    Scorpions [] are bound to survive a nuclear holocaust. Because of their very rugged structure they can withstand the radiation rather easily. And due to their somewhat 'weird' reproduction (all have both male and female parts in them) it makes their chances of survival a lot better than most other animals. Look at wikipedia (link) for more information.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:32AM (#16406569)
    I believe he's referring to physical power, not our overall ability to survive. Compared to most animals, we're pretty pathetic fighting machines:

    1. Bi-pedal stance provides horrifyingly poor balance
    2. Little strength pound for pound
    3. Eyesight is not well-suited to combat a fast target
    4. Slow
    5. Poor reflexes
    6. No decent weapons (fangs, poison, claws, spines)
    7. No significant protection (thick fur, heavy fat layer, thick skin)

    You can train away most of these problems, but considering the type of high-energy diet required to do it, it seems highly unlikely that humans in the wild could get to the level of our tip-top athletes.

    If we had been, we would be extict.

    Not true. You don't have to be strong to survive. Rabbits get away with being almost helpless by reproducing at an outlandish rate. Non-venomous snakes do it by being very good at hiding themselves from hunters. Small monkeys do it by staying high in the trees where they can easily escape ground-based predators.

    Humanity likely did it by being good at knowing when to stay the hell away from things that might eat it. Some biologists think human beings didn't even really start to live on the ground in any meaningful way until after they developed simple weapons to protect themselves.

    I think it's a valid question. If we're made in God's image, does that mean that God has the same physical limitations that we do, meaning that even he wouldn't be particularly notable in the wild compared to a lot of other predators?
  • by famebait ( 450028 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:11AM (#16406971)
    If we don't survive nuclear holocaust: what creatures, more robust than we, will

    Or more importantly, in a fight, who would win:
    • Radiocative snails
    • Sharks with frickin lasers on their heads
    Mod "Interesting" for snails, "Informative" for sharks.
  • by Frumious Wombat ( 845680 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:10AM (#16407777)
    That plutonium might not be "missing". I heard a talk from one of the chemists working on remediation at Hanford, who said that at Oak Ridge they'd discovered a significant portion of the "missing" plutonium hanging out as drifts of barely sub-critical plutonium dust in the ventilation system. Not 'explode' subcritical, mind you, but 'a little more accumulation, and we'll have a real radiation event' subcritical.

    So, rather than having been repurposed as weapons, it could still be polluting the facilities where it was used.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam