Since the weather has been reasonably quiet lately, I thought I’d change things up a bit and write about something else. Most of you likely remember the deadly March 2011 Japan tsunami that caused the nuclear meltdown in three of the six reactors at Fukushima. Over the last few days, a certain photo that was taken by Twitter user @San_kaido of what appears to be unusual-looking daises has been making its rounds on the internet.
The photo was taken about 70 miles away from the Fukushima site, and what you’re seeing is a deformity that is caused my fasciation. Fasciation causes the abnormal growth of various flowers that can ultimately distort the head of the flower(s). While scientists are unsure what causes fasciation, they suspect that it is the result of a hormonal imbalance. Likely causes of this imbalance may be due to random mutations, insects, disease or physical injury to the flower.
@San_kaido described what he saw when he shared the photo:
“The right one grew up, split into 2 stems to have 2 flowers connected each other, having 4 stems of flower tied belt-like. The left one has 4 stems grew up to be tied to each other and it had the ring-shaped flower. The atmospheric dose is 0.5 μSv/h at 1m above the ground.”
While the deformity of these flowers was probably caused by radiation exposure due the meltdown four years ago, some of you may have seen the result of fasciation in your own gardens, even though it’s quite rare. In other words, fasciation does occur in flowers that haven’t been exposed to high amounts of radiation. In earlier reports, changes have been observed in fruits and vegetables grown near the Fukushima site.
To learn more about fascination, you can click the link that I provided.