The Radioactive Lake Karachay Is The World's Most Polluted Place
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A picturesque lake has been the inspiration of plenty of family vacations and weekend getaways. Just imagine it: nature, serenity, and peace. Oh, and radiation. Lots and lots of radiation. Enough radiation to kill you within a few hours of exposure. That's if you were ill-informed enough to plan a trip to Lake Karachay, anyway. This Russian lake is considered the most polluted place on the planet. And, no, it is definitely not a place you should have on your travel wish list.
Key Facts to Know
93% of all humans who have ever lived are dead today. 0:03
You wouldn't just burn if you fell into molten lava, you would turn into an explosive mini eruption. 3:04
Lake Karachay in Russia was named the most polluted spot on Earth. 6:07
After Nuclear War, There Could Be Nuclear Winter
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With the horrors that nuclear bombs have already wrought on our planet, it's hard to imagine that the worst thing to come from an all-out nuclear war wouldn't be the blasts themselves, but the effects in the weeks, months, and years afterward. But it's true: the blasts have the potential to kill millions instantly, but the after effects would slowly snuff out billions more. The most devastating consequence of a man-made apocalypse? Nuclear winter.
The Kyshtym Disaster Is The Nuclear Accident You Haven't Heard Of
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You've heard of Chernobyl, and you've even heard of Fukushima. But the next biggest nuclear disaster probably won't ring any bells for you, and that's because it was largely kept secret. The Kyshtym disaster of 1957 was the third largest nuclear accident, but not even those affected knew it had happened. Heck, it didn't even happen in Kyshtym—the name was something of a cover-up. The disaster occurred in the secret, then-Soviet region called Chelyabinsk (it was renamed Ozyorsk in the early 1990s). According to the Soviets, the secret site of the accident didn't even exist.
30 Years After A Nuclear Disaster, Chernobyl Wildlife Is Thriving
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In April of 1986, an accident at a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine (in what was then the U.S.S.R.), destroyed a reactor and released massive amounts of radioactive material into the surrounding area. The radiation was powerful enough to contaminate parts of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, and a zone 30 kilometers (18 miles) around the plant was closed off to the public. It's been that way ever since: except for a few scientists and other officials, Chernobyl has seen virtually no human visitors. But this tragedy has a bright side: the absence of human interference has led to a dramatic increase in wildlife. As reported by National Geographic, biologists performing a five-week survey of the area captured images of "a bison, 21 boars, nine badgers, 26 gray wolves, 60 raccoon dogs (an Asian species also called a tanuki), and 10 red foxes." Scientists studying the populations of wolves and other species have noticed similar trends. How well the animals are doing with the radiation levels is up for debate—though they appear healthy, more research is needed to determine if they're experiencing health effects at the genetic level. Delve into the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster in the videos below.
Biography Of Marie Curie
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Chemist Marie Curie was born November 7, 1867. She and her husband received the Nobel Prize for discovered the element radium, which many believed caused her death. However, the radiation levels in her body after her death were low, leading scientists to believe Curie's death was caused by working with X-rays in World War I.
Key Facts to Know
Marie Curie studied in secret in Warsaw, Poland. 0:23
Curie discovered an item's radioactive properties originated in its atoms. 1:03
After her husband's death, Curie took over his teaching post at the University of Paris becoming the first female professor. 1:16