How Life Recovers from Devastation at Mt. St. Helens — and even Chernobyl!

About three hours from now, I’m going to do ceremony, honoring the global gratitude that I can feel enveloping us as we prepare to participate in this evening’s annular solar eclipse meditation.

On this momentous day, it felt very significant to come across a wonderful article and video on, “How Life Recovers from Devastation” that shows, from NASA satellite views, how Mt. St. Helens has been transforming since it erupted in 1980. Of course, the article made my heart sing.

And yet I couldn’t help think about radiation, and Fukushima, and the increasing alarm about long term devastation for Japan, the Pacific Ocean, the northern hemisphere, the entire globe! What kind of recovery is possible from such massive radiation? — or do we have to count on the Galactics to clean it up. I know a lot of “light workers” are begging for this kind of savior drama to rescue us, but I’d rather think that Gaia and Gaians can clean up after ourselves, thank you!

Shortly after the Fukushima disaster, I stumbled upon an article by Paul Stametz, re: the possibility of remediation its radiation with mushrooms, and posted it to this blog.

Today, googling “radiation and mushrooms,” I discovered a remarkable 2008 article about Chernobyl, how not only does everything in the area seem to be thriving, but mushrooms, found inside the doomed reactor, appear to be not just neutralizing radiation, but utilizing it to fuel growth, turning it into other forms of energy. [my emphasis — A.K.]

Let us never, ever, underestimate the capacity of the life force to regenerate. And that goes not just for Earth, but for our own individual natures as well. Even when we feel most alone, most victimized, most down-and-out, there’s always something surprising just ahead if we allow it.

How do we allow it?


How do we open?

By cultivating gratitude.


Silent spring

by Lauren Monaghan

Deep in the radioactive bowels of the smashed Chernobyl reactor, a strange new lifeform is blooming.

Single page print view

TWENTY-TWO YEARS AGO, on 26 April 1986, reactor No 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, in Ukraine, blew apart, spewing radioactive dust and debris far and wide.

Ever since, a 30 km ‘exclusion zone’ has existed around the contaminated site, accessible to those with special clearance only. It’s quite easy, then, to conjure an apocalyptic vision of the area; to imagine an eerily deserted wasteland, utterly devoid of life.

But the truth is quite the opposite. The exclusion zone is teeming with wildlife of all shapes and sizes, flourishing unhindered by human interference and seemingly unfazed by the ever-present radiation. Most remarkable, however, is not the life buzzing around the site, but what’s blooming inside the perilous depths of the reactor.

Sitting at the centre of the exclusion zone, the damaged reactor unit is encased in a steel and cement sarcophagus. It’s a deathly tomb that plays host to about 200 tonnes of melted radioactive fuel, and is swarming with radioactive dust.

BUT IT’S ALSO THE ABODE of some very hardy fungi which researchers believe aren’t just tolerating the severe radiation, but actually harnessing its energy to thrive.

“Our findings suggest that [the fungi] can capture the energy from radiation and transform it into other forms of energy that can be used for growth,” said microbiologist Arturo Casadevall from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York, USA.

Fungi are weird, yes. They chow down on everything from decaying plant matter to the more exotic fare of asbestos and jet fuel. But being able to produce their own energy, independent of an actual food source, and use dangerous ionising radiation to boot? That’s very new and very exciting, Casadevall says.

In 1999, a robot sent to map the inside of the reactor returned with samples of a particularly black fungi, indicating an abundance of the biological pigment melanin, which also colours your skin.

Though melanin is typically associated with ‘protective’ properties – absorbing and safely transforming different electromagnetic wavelengths, such as DNA-damaging ultraviolet light – the researchers had an inkling that a more extraordinary phenomenon was allowing the fungi to prosper; something still involving the combination of melanin and radiation, but beyond the bounds of radioactive protection.

After all, even without melanin, many fungi are intrinsically radiation-resistant.

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0 Responses to How Life Recovers from Devastation at Mt. St. Helens — and even Chernobyl!

  1. Hello Ann,
    Here’s an essay regarding Fukushima which makes Chernobyl look quite small by comparison.
    The following article gives some rudimentary understanding as to why the Pacific Ocean is allowed to die.
    The Pacific Ocean Is Dying:
    A Special Report On the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

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