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Fukushima Radiation Scare Hoaxes refers fictitious reports about dangerous radiation from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
As early as August 2013, an email message began circulating claiming that radioactive seepage had spread across the Pacific Ocean from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant, accompanied by an image illustrating the trajectory of the radiation (shown below). On August 28th, a page titled “Fukushima Emergency” was created on the hoax debunking site Snopes, which revealed that the image was actually a map of projected tsunami wave heights and not radiation spread.
On September 3rd, 2013, the satirical news site National Report published an article reporting that Fukushima radiation had killed hundreds of whales, which contained an embedded image of beached whales (shown below). On September 5th, an entry titled “Fukushima Dead Whales Hoax” was submitted to the Hoax debunking website Hoax Slayer, which revealed that the photo was of pilot whales beached on the coast of New Zealand in August of 2010, several months prior to the Fukushima meltdown.
On October 22nd, 2013, the government conspiracy news blog Activist Post published an article attributing various environmental issues on the United States west coast to the Fukushima disaster. On October 29th, the science blog Southern Fried Science published an article debunking many of the points made in the Activist Post piece. On October 28th, the skeptic news blog Skeptoid published an article about Fukushima radiation rumors, referring to the reports as “scaremongering.” On November 28th, the ocean life blog Deep Sea News published an article debunking several radiation rumors which exposed the radiation spread image to be a map of estimated maximum wave heights. On December 24th, 2013, YouTuber Kill0Your0TV uploaded a video featuring a man using a Geiger Counter at Pacifica State Beach near San Francisco, California, claiming that the Fukushima radiation had hit the United States’ coast (shown below). In the next two weeks, the video gained more than 560,000 views and 1,000 comments.
On January 6th, 2014, the conspiracy theory blog Infowars highlighted the video in an article questioning if Fukushima radiation had hit the California coastline. On the following day, the news blog PolicyMic published an article about viral Fukushima radiation stories spreading online, criticizing those who have attributing environmental issues to the Fukushima disaster without evidence.
National Report – Fukushima Disaster Leaves Hundreds of Whales Radiated to Death
Activist Post – 28 signs that the west coast is being absolutely fried