June 21, 2013
This picture, from the village of Pyotki, Ukraine, appears to show several children eating a large watermelon. The children belong to Lev Tsiolkovsky (no relation to Konstantin) the chief botanist at the Krazny Oktyober nuclear facility nearby. 
While it was fairly unusual to have a botanist attached to a nuclear site crew, Tsiolkovsky had a special mission: to see if strategic doses of radiation could be used to increase the size and hardiness of certain plants. 
Watermelon was ideal for his experiments, as it does not grow naturally in places like Ukraine. Buying a watermelon plant and adulterating its feed with small doses of radioactive waste, he produced several monstrosities akin to those shown here.
The project was going spectacularly until it transpired that anyone who eaten the watermelon developed horrific tumours and died painfully. This included all of Tsiolkovsky’s children, his wife, and the local Party boss, who had eaten some himself at a dinner at Tsiolkovsky’s.
The project was scrapped, the nuclear facility closed, and Tsiolkovsky relocated— to Siberia, naturally.

This picture, from the village of Pyotki, Ukraine, appears to show several children eating a large watermelon. The children belong to Lev Tsiolkovsky (no relation to Konstantin) the chief botanist at the Krazny Oktyober nuclear facility nearby.

While it was fairly unusual to have a botanist attached to a nuclear site crew, Tsiolkovsky had a special mission: to see if strategic doses of radiation could be used to increase the size and hardiness of certain plants.

Watermelon was ideal for his experiments, as it does not grow naturally in places like Ukraine. Buying a watermelon plant and adulterating its feed with small doses of radioactive waste, he produced several monstrosities akin to those shown here.

The project was going spectacularly until it transpired that anyone who eaten the watermelon developed horrific tumours and died painfully. This included all of Tsiolkovsky’s children, his wife, and the local Party boss, who had eaten some himself at a dinner at Tsiolkovsky’s.

The project was scrapped, the nuclear facility closed, and Tsiolkovsky relocated— to Siberia, naturally.

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