The Mutated Insects of Chernobyl


Image: Cornelia Hesse-Honegger


Since 1967, scientific illustrator Cornelia Hesse-Honegger has visited 25 nuclear sites, including that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, documenting the mutated insects resulting from radioactive contamination. In an interview about her work, Hesse-Honegger said:

I never thought really about myself as being an artist. I just made what I thought was necessary. I thought that these laboratory flies are the prototypes of our understanding of nature, in the sense that we can do anything to nature—we the humans dictate in the end how nature should look like. It was for me the prototype of a future nature, man-made.

The professor who first gave me the mutated flies was convinced, however, that the radiation from Chernobyl had no impact on nature. This is what brought up the question of “low-level radiation.” Nobody was interested in doing research; this is why I thought I had to make these paintings to show the scientists that it would be important to start research in fallout areas.


Link via Fast Company | Interview with the Artist

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I'm a bit confused. Is that supposed to be one species as it has mutated? different species? There is little meat to this story...just that scientists didn't think it was important but this lady has seen otherwise.
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