The famous photo of Chernobyl's most dangerous radioactive material was a selfie


#1

[Read the post]


#2

It’s really no big deal. I see that all the time in Minecraft.


#3

IIRC, didn’t Chernobyl produce new and unique minerals?


#4

I love that he’s “probably still alive”, like Schroedinger’s cat.


#5

So dangerous radioactive material from Chernobyl has not only become self-aware, but has learned how to use cameras?


#6

I guess a camera with a timer? Because if my friend asked me to come take their photo next to two-minute-death radioactive lava, I would not oblige.


#7

Even better, @frauenfelder says, “Remarkably…” …which…is a little odd. He might be alive, he might not–remarkable!


#8

why someone would take what is essentially a selfie with a hunk of molten radiated lava

What else are you going to do with a hunk of molten radiated lava?

Hey, at least it’s not a sophmoric tourist photo…


#9

Dose-response effect varies wildly when it comes to radiation exposure and a number of factors would be relevant here. People have survived fairly high exposures and gone on to die at very old ages.


#10

Also, the actual article says the “dead in less than two minutes” thing was in 86, not 96 when the photo was taken.


#11

<pedant hat> If comparing to the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment he should technically be both dead and alive simultaneously. Not either or. </pedant hat>

mutter… mutter… grumble …grumble… <shuffles off into distance/>


#12

Unless someone observed him. Then his state would collapse and he’d be either/or.

But if no one has observed the observer …


#13

Yeah, and it would also be known. Anyway, just a pet peeve of mine.


#14

[chuckles] you call that a close up shot of the elephant’s foot
Now, this is a close up shot of the elephant’s foot

What I remember for the time that the selfie was taken, is that the elephant’s foot dose rate was roughly 1/10th of the 1986 number, so ~1000 rad/h on contact.
Given that it looks like he is able to keep ~1 meter away from the source, that would put the dose rate ~2.5 rad/h – a radiation worker in the US could spend 2 hours there before reaching the occupational limit of exposure.
If he spent 5 minutes setting up and taking the photo, then he got ~210 mrad of exposure which is about 1 years worth of natural background radiation – so not so much really.
The current average “background” dose in the US is 620 mrem (mostly due to the increased use of CT imaging which can average in the 1-2.8 rad range).


#15

Remarkable!
.
.
remark
.
.
Remarkable?

Actually, it is remarkable that anyone would willingly get within one hundred miles of Chernobyl, much less a hundred, or ten, or five feet away from the “Elephant’s foot”. Sometimes I lean a little over balconies, and I have surfed regularly in California’s Red Triangle, but getting close to radioactive sources in the basement of Chernobyl is never gonna happen for this guy.


#16

My favorite example is the man Robert Oppenheimer could not kill. A survivor of both A-bomb blasts. My pick for toughest man who ever walked the Earth. Tsutomu Yamaguchi. And he wasn’t even wearing protective gear of any type like the Chernobyl guy.


#17

I hope this doesn’t seem totally weird, but… does the guy in this photo totally look like he’s doing an intense guitar solo to anyone else?

…anyone?


#18

Those Russians and their extreme selfie culture :smirk:


#19

I’m pretty sure he’s playing a red Telecaster in that photo.

Maybe they were filming a music video.


#20

Radioactive Man!