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There's a thriving population of radioactive animals that have taken over the abandoned Chernobyl exclusion zone, even though the area is toxic for humans

Business Insider Logo By Katie Canales of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 47: 
  On April
  26, 1986, reactor number four at the
  Chernobyl nuclear
  power plant, located in the then-Soviet
  Union, experienced a power surge, resulting in an explosion
  that sent a cloud of radioactive
  materials across parts of Europe. It
  was the world's worst nuclear accident.
  
  
    
    Around 350,000 people were evacuated following
    the explosion.
  
  Today, the areas surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power
  plant are almost completely void of humans, save for a 
    number of locals that reside in the Chernobyl exclusion
    zone.
  But the contaminated area is now populated by a diverse
  wildlife community.
  
  Scientists and researchers 
    are still investigating how exactly the animals are
    affected by radioactive exposure, but many studies so far point
    to the most likely explanation for why the animals are
    thriving: the lack of humans.
  
  "Nature flourishes when humans are removed from the equation,
  even after the world's worst nuclear accident," Jim Smith, an
  environmental scientist who has studied life near Chernobyl,
  
    told National Geographic.
  
  
    Visit
    Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

© Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

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