Chernobyl Fungus Feeds On Radiation
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May 23, 2007: Scientists have discovered fungi in the former nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine which uses the radiation at the site as a source of food.

The article also discusses that mechanism the fungus uses to convert radiation is the same melanin found in human skin. It also suggests similar fungus might one day be used as a renewable food source for deep space missions, since ionizing radiation is plentiful in space.



Game and Story Use

  • Make the fungus mobile, and you have a nasty radioactive monster to throw at your PCs.
    • Perhaps it can infect people and animals, and thus create radioactive zombies.
  • NPC fungus farmers in your Wagon Train To The Stars campaign can provide food for the fleet - until some plot twist demands otherwise.
  • After The End, mutation or genetic engineering might allow some humans to synthesize food via the melanin in their skin. If the The End came in the form of Nuclear War, it'll be a very useful adaptation.
  • Assuming that the fungus isn't radioactive in itself, it could make a good food source for your fantasy Underdark … all those civilisations down there need some kind of primary producer and photosynthesis ain't going to do it…
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