Ten years ago the world saw its second worst nuclear accident in history—after Chernobyl—at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in northeastern Japan after a magnitude 9 earthquake shook the ground for six minutes. Less than an hour later, a tsunami pummeled the country’s northern shores, bringing walls of seawater over 120 feet high, which flooded places six miles inland. Inundated emergency generators at the nuclear power plant failed, leading to a meltdown and subsequent explosion of three reactors.
But the sudden disappearance of people had an unexpected upside for nature: Over the past decade, animals and plants have reclaimed the exclusion zone, where radiation levels are still too high for humans to return safely. Wild boars, Japanese macaques, and raccoon dogs,