The horrific Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster on March 11th, caused by the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami, forced 80,000 people from their homes and caused massive environmental damage. The 30-mile radius around the plant has been left uncultivable and radioactive hot spots have been found more than 60 miles away from the nuclear plant site (outside the evacuation zone), leaving in its wake agricultural lands tainted with radiation.
But one man has found a way to begin healing the ravaged land with a natural solution — sunflowers. Koyu Abe, chief monk at the Buddhist Joenji temple, had been testing the use of sunflowers to soak up the radiation toxins from the soil.
"We plant sunflowers, field mustard, amaranthus and cockscomb, which are all believed to absorb radiation," Abe told Reuters. "So far we have grown at least 200,000 flowers (at this temple) and distributed many more seeds. At least 8 million sunflowers blooming in Fukushima originated from here."