7 animals that can survive the effects of a nuclear bomb
Nuclear war is one of the biggest threats facing humanity and life on Earth. If it happens, it will cause massive destruction and radioactive pollution that can affect health and environment for decades or even centuries. But does this mean that all living beings will die in case of a nuclear war outbreak?
The answer is no. There are some animals that have an amazing ability to adapt and endure under very harsh conditions, including exposure to nuclear radiation. In this article, we will review 7 of these animals that can survive the effects of a nuclear bomb, and explain how they do it.
Table of Contents
- 1. Water bears (Tardigrades)
- 2. Cockroaches (Cockroaches)
- 3. Scorpions (Scorpions)
- 4. Fruit flies (Fruit flies)
- 5. Braconid wasp (Braconid wasps)
- 6. Mummichog fish (Mummichog)
- 7. Deinococcus radiodurans (Deinococcus radiodurans)
1. Water bears (Tardigrades)
Water bears are microscopic creatures that have eight legs and a body covered with hairs. They are also known as “water bears” or “moss piglets”, and are considered one of the strongest creatures on Earth. They are able to live in extreme temperatures, whether high or low, and in high or low pressure, and in the vacuum of space or in the depths of the oceans.
But what makes them able to withstand nuclear radiation is their ability to enter a state called “cryptobiosis”, which is a state similar to hibernation, where all life processes in their body stop, and they lose up to 97% of their water, and shrink into a spherical shape. In this state, water bears become resistant to drought, heat, cold, oxygen and radiation. And studies have shown that water bears can survive after being exposed to radiation doses exceeding 1000 gray (Gray), which is a dose sufficient to kill a human quickly.
2. Cockroaches (Cockroaches)
Cockroaches are insects that have a bad reputation as home pests and disease carriers. But they are also one of the oldest insects on Earth, as they have lived for more than 300 million years, and adapted to various environmental changes. And among these adaptations, their ability to withstand nuclear radiation.
And that is for several reasons, including that cockroaches have a strong immune system that protects them from diseases and toxins, and that their cells regenerate relatively slowly, which reduces the chances of genetic mutations resulting from radiation. Also, cockroaches can live in dark, narrow and dirty places, which increases their chances of survival in case of a nuclear disaster. And experiments have shown that cockroaches can survive after being exposed to radiation doses up to 10 grams (Gy), which is a dose ten times higher than the killing level for humans.
3. Scorpions (Scorpions)
Scorpions are insects that have six legs and a tail equipped with a venomous hook. They are considered one of the most dangerous insects for humans, as their venom can cause death or convulsions or severe pain. But scorpions are also one of the strongest insects against nuclear radiation.
Scorpions are able to adapt to different temperatures, whether very hot or very cold, thanks to their ability to change the level of metabolism in their body. Also, scorpions can live in dry and low-oxygen places, which makes them suitable for survival under nuclear war conditions. And although no rigorous studies have been conducted on how much radiation scorpions can withstand, it is assumed that they can survive nuclear attacks better than most other creatures.
4. Fruit flies (Fruit flies)
Fruit flies are small insects that feed on ripe or damaged fruits and vegetables. They are often used in scientific experiments to study genetics and evolution, because they have a short life and fast reproduction and a simple genome. And some of these experiments have shown that fruit flies can adapt to exposure to nuclear radiation.
In a study conducted by researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, as published on Science Daily, it was found that weak doses of gamma radiation can prolong the life of fruit flies. This is because these radiations stimulate the production of antioxidants in the cells of fruit flies, which protect them from damage. Other studies have also shown that fruit flies can develop resistance to radiation through induced evolution by natural selection.
5. Braconid wasp (Braconid wasps)
Braconid wasp is a type of parasitic wasps that lay their eggs in the body of a worm or cocoon or plant. The host is paralyzed by the venom of the braconid wasp, then used as food for the larvae of the braconid wasp until they turn into adult wasps. And scientists have discovered that the braconid wasp has an extra part of genetic material (DNA) called “mini-chromosome”, which helps it protect its mini-chromosome from the harmful effects of radiation.
In a study conducted by Kyoto University in Japan, as published in the journal PLOS ONE, it was found that the braconid wasp can survive after being exposed to radiation doses up to 400 gray (Gy), which is a dose sufficient to kill 96% of humans. This is because the mini-chromosome contains genes responsible for repairing cells damaged by radiation, which are activated more in case of exposure to radiation.
6. Mummichog fish (Mummichog)
Mummichog fish is a type of small fish that lives in fresh or salt or mixed water. It is often used as bait for fishing other fish, or as food for pets. And scientists have discovered that mummichog fish has a unique ability to adapt to radioactive pollution.
In a study conducted by Bordeaux University in France, as published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, it was found that mummichog fish can live in lakes near nuclear power plants, where radiation levels are very high. This is because mummichog fish has a genetic mechanism called “tolerance”, which allows it to reduce the sensitivity of its cells to radiation, and thus reduce the risk of genetic mutations or cancer.
7. Deinococcus radiodurans (Deinococcus radiodurans)
Deinococcus radiodurans is a type of bacteria that is considered one of the toughest organisms on Earth. This bacteria can survive in very harsh conditions, such as high or low temperatures, high or low pressure, severe drought, or complete loss of oxygen. But what makes it amazing is its ability to withstand nuclear radiation.
Deinococcus radiodurans can survive after being exposed to radiation doses up to 15 thousand gray (Gy), which is a dose sufficient to kill billions of other bacteria. This is because Deinococcus radiodurans has a genetic mechanism called “synchronous repair”, which allows it to repair cells damaged by radiation quickly and accurately. Also, Deinococcus radiodurans has multiple copies of its mini-chromosome, which increases the chances of recovering lost genetic information.
In this article, we presented 7 animals that can survive the effects of a nuclear bomb, and explained how they do it. These animals show a wonderful ability to adapt and endure under very harsh conditions, including exposure to nuclear radiation. And some of these animals have proven that they do not surrender to radiation, but benefit from it sometimes. But this does not mean that nuclear war does not pose a danger to life on Earth, as nuclear radiation has negative effects on various levels, from molecular to environmental. Therefore, humans should avoid this horrific scenario, and strive to preserve peace and biodiversity.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the strongest insect against radiation?
Answer: Among the insects we mentioned in this article, the braconid wasp is the strongest insect against radiation, as it can withstand radiation doses up to 400 grams (Gy).
- What is the weakest animal against radiation?
Answer: Among the animals we mentioned in this article, the mummichog fish is the weakest animal against radiation, as it can withstand radiation doses up to
up to 5 grams (Gy).
- Can a human survive a nuclear bomb?
Answer: That depends on several factors, such as the location, strength and type of the explosion, and the distance, location and condition of the human, and the preventive and medical measures that he takes. In general, a human can survive a nuclear bomb if he is far from the center of the explosion, and if he is protected by a solid shelter, and if he avoids exposure to dust, smoke and rain contaminated with radiation. But even in this case, the human may suffer from long-term health, psychological and social effects.