Sep 04, 2014 I Paul Seaburn

Is Chernobyl Turning Germany’s Wild Boars Into Hogzillas?

While Russia continues to attempt to reattach itself to Ukraine, some parts of Germany wish they could get further away. Or at least give back some of the byproducts of the Chernobyl disaster when, in 1986, a reactor at a nuclear power plant exploded and released massive amounts of radioactive particles into the atmosphere to eventually rain down on parts of western Europe. Places like Saxony, where 28 years later, high levels of radiation are showing up in wild boars.

Since 2012, wild boars killed in Saxony, 700 miles from Chernobyl, must be tested for radiation and those exceeding 600 becquerels per kg must be destroyed. In one year, 297 out of 752 boars tested were over the limit, some dozens of times over. Many contained the hazardous isotope Cesium 137, which has a 30-year half-life. The boars get the radiation from eating mushrooms and underground truffles which are so contaminated with radiation that they are unfit for human consumption.

What about the boar meat? Experts say that a human eating 13 kilograms of radioactive meat would ingest the same amount of low-level radiation you get from being on a transatlantic flight.

Is this radiation turning the boars into hogzillas? Hogzilla was the massive hog killed in Alabama in 2004. Said to be 12 feet long and weighing over 1,000 pounds, its remains were exhumed and analyzed a year later and it was found to be a mere 800 pounds and between 6.9 and 8.6  feet long. DNA analysis identified Hogzilla as a hybrid of wild boar and domestic pig. The Texas hogzilla allegedly killed in Conroe, Texas, in 2009 and said to be over 1,800 pounds was never confirmed.

alabama monsterpig 570x320
Hogzilla turned out to be just a big wild boar/domestic pig hybrid.

So far, no humungous boars, zombie hogs or three-headed wild pigs have been seen in Saxony. Is it possible? Only time will tell.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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