To combat excessive radiation levels in the agricultural regions surrounding the Fukushima nuclear plant, monks at a Japanese Buddhist temple began growing and distributing sunflowers, which are known to absorb radiation.
The project has blossomed throughout the country with hundreds of thousands of flowers in bloom, spurring deeper connections between people in Fukushima and the rest of the country.
At least 8 million sunflowers blooming in Fukushima originated with the monks, who also have planted field mustard, amaranthus and cockscomb — all believed to absorb radiation and soak up toxins from the ground.
Sunflowers were used near Chernobyl after the 1986 nuclear accident there to extract radioactive cesium from contaminated ponds nearby, according to Reuters.
Photo by Sun Star