Beautiful though they may be, let's get one thing straight -- the world's oceans and rivers are basically giant, terrifying bottomless pits full of things that wants to eat you, like great white sharks and giant squid and sea lice as big as your fist. Considering how many things that live in the ocean should inspire fear in your heart, but if it's being bitten by something that scares you the most -- and that is, in our estimation, utterly understandable -- then you should be most terrified of piranhas, which have a stronger bite, pound for pound, than any other fish in history. On the bright side, though, you can be glad that the megapiranha, which is not just a C-minus movie monster but a variety of piranha that is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, is now extinct and can no longer bite you. Thank God for small mercies, right?
Today's reminder that nuclear accidents stay with us much, much longer than we might care to remember them: Butterflies in the vicinity of the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan are mutating. A study published online last week in the journal Science Reports found that pale blue grass butterflies are common in much of Asia, but those born near the site of the meltdown are coming into the world with severe physical deformities. Mutations have been found in 12% of the specimens examined by researchers at the University of the Ryukyus in nearby Okinawa. While some of the mutations, like unusual spotting patterns on wings, are mostly innocuous, others are more severe, ranging from forked antennae, to twisted legs, to bent and useless wings. Some are suffering from mutations that leave them unable to even leave their cocoons.