Recent photos of 'deformed' daisies coming up near the Fukushima plant in Japan that suffered a meltdown in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami have triggered radiation fears, with some assuming that they could have been possibly mutated due to the radiation.
The photos first appeared on social media, courtesy Twitter user @san_kaido, who had put up the pictures of the unusual looking daisies in May this year, which many have referred as "mutant daisies".
"The right one grew up, split into 2 stems to have 2 flowers connected each other, having 4 stems of flower tied belt-like. The left one has 4 stems grew up to be tied to each other and it had the ring-shaped flower. The atmospheric dose is 0.5 μSv/h at 1m above the ground," the resident of Japan's Nasushiobara city said in the post.
マーガレットの帯化(那須塩原市5/26)② 右は４つの花茎が帯状に繋がったまま成長し，途中で２つに別れて２つの花がつながって咲いた。左は４つの花茎がそのまま成長して繋がって花が咲き輪の様になった。空間線量0.5μSv地点(地上高1m) pic.twitter.com/MinxdFgXBC
— 三悔堂 (@san_kaido) May 27, 2015
However, most reports suggest that the deformity of the Fukushima daisies may be nothing but the natural process of fasciation, which causes abnormal growth in plants wherein the flower heads take a flat, elongated shape.
The reasons for fasciation could range from bacterial infections to genetic mutations.
The fact that the odd-looking daisies were seen near the Fukushima plant may cause some fears, but such flowers have also been seen elsewhere, such as in a garden in Oxford, Britain, as reported by the Daily Mail a few years ago.
Earlier, the Japanese were alarmed by photos of deformed vegetables and even a "mutant rabbit", believed to be from the vicinity of the Fukushima Daichii nuclear power plant. However, such reports were not confirmed.
The magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami had ravaged much of Japan and caused a meltdown in three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant, causing a nuclear accident and evacuation of lakhs of people in March 2011.