Sunday, January 27, 2013

Meet the Lobster Moth

I came across a picture of this unusual moth caterpillar called the Lobster Moth or Lobster Prominent (Stauropis fagi).  I've never seen anything like it.  Its front legs are huge and it really looks like some alien creature.  The adult moth is a nondescript Notodontid found throughout the Palearctic that looks like many species I find outside my house.  Some of the local species have pretty unusual looking caterpillars with weird humps and tentacles, but nothing like this species.

 Wildlife of Chernobyl

Interesting video on the reappearance of wildlife in the evacuation zone of Chernobyl.  Tweny Six years ago 300,000 people were evacuated from the area around the nuclear reactor. The re-wilding of the area is an interesting subject.  The animals in the zone have very high levels of radiation, however there have been few malformations observed.  Over time perhaps more radiation-resistant animals will flourish as those more sensitive will die at a differentially higher rate.  Alternatively, a tremendous amount of unobserved damage may be occuring.  I wonder how the radiation affects things like the bacterial and fungal communities in the soil.  An interesting anecdote was that radioactive mushrooms collected in the evacuation area occasionally make it to markets in populated areas.

I'm wondering about the parallels to Fukashima.

Hopefully, EarthFirst or some other radical environmentalist group never gets a nuke or radiological weapon.  One could imagine a future scenario, where in order to exclude people from some area, they paradoxically contaminate it to (partially) save it.

Here's my movie script idea - Radical group seeks to "save" large swaths of the planet from human habitat destruction by radiological contamination.  Crowdsource the script.