Plants Outlive Humans When it Comes to Cancer

Have you ever wondered if plants can die from radiations and nuclear disasters?

Plants can withstand nuclear radiation better than animals, including humans. For animals like humans, nuclear disasters are often fatal. Their cells and systems are very specialized. They are not flexible. In order for an animal to survive, all parts of the animal‘s system must work together. For example, in order for the human body to survive, they need the brain, heart, and lungs to cooperate. Plants, on the other hand, are special and their systems work differently. This is how they survive radiation.

Chernobyl was a nuclear disaster that happened in 1986. Since then, animals, such as boars, wolves, and bears, have gone back to the site where it occurred. Stuart Thompson, a writer with PBS, explained that the weakest and most unprotected plant life had actually never died in the first place, even in the areas with the most radiation. The plants fully recovered within three years. Throughout the years, plants have flourished and there are even more flowers now than before the nuclear disaster.

Since plants cannot move, they have to adapt to their environment. Cancer affects plants, animals, and humans, but plants can create new cells to replace the dead ones needed to survive. When cancer does occur in a plant, a rigid, interconnecting wall keeps the cancer from spreading inside the plant, so it isn‘t harmed. This is different from animals.

Plants in the zone of radiation seem to have these mechanisms to protect their DNA. The plant is changing its chemistry to make it more resistant to damage from radiation. If plants were to go through another nuclear disaster, the radiation wouldn‘t affect the plants. They can just replace dead cells and tissues.

As you can see, plants have the ability to withstand often deadly events—something that humans are unable to replicate.