Tokyo Professor: Spiders bio-concentrated radioactive silver at 1,000 times level in soil

Published: November 8th, 2011 at 8:47 am ET


#Radiation in Japan: Spiders in Iitate-mura Concentrating Radioactive Silver 1,000 Times, EX-SKF, November 8, 2011:

Dr. Bin Mori is a professor emeritus at University of Tokyo, Faculty of Agriculture.


In his post on October 30, Professor Mori wrote about his discovery, probably the world first, he made in spiders (Nephila clavata) he caught in Iitate-mura, Fukushima Prefecture


The following is my translation of Dr. Mori’s October 30 blog post, with his express permission:


  • Cs-134 +Cs-137 = 3,656 Bq/kg
  • Ag-110m =1,397 Bq/kg


In the forest where the spiders were caught, the ratio of radioactive cesium (134+137) to Ag-110m was about 2,500 to 1. Using the above numbers, I calculated that nephila clavatas bio-concentrated the radioactive silver in the soil to about 1,000 times.

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Published: November 8th, 2011 at 8:47 am ET


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40 comments to Tokyo Professor: Spiders bio-concentrated radioactive silver at 1,000 times level in soil

  • dosdos dosdos

    Can we leave Marvel Comics out of this post?

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Can WE get this SPINNING with Sign’s?
      48 hours to save Fukushima’s children

      • pure water

        Thanks, Whoopie! We are on the right track! These people really can help! They have millions of members, work for meaningful causes and have successful initiatives all over the world! Please, everybody, sign! This time the chances are bigger than ever! Please, spread the information and see how many people sign every minute, every second! I think we can celebrate today, seriously!

  • radegan

    Very interesting. We can breed insects to clean up for us – rename this spider the ‘Silver Sweeper’. Does it naturally concentrate silver from its surroundings? How does it use silver? Is it concentrating silver to fight off viral and bacterial assaults, and the concentrations reflect massive stress to its immune system, answered by adding more silver? Like our bodies take up iodine but can’t tell radioactive iodine from regular iodine, it likely is a natural mechanism gone awry. Could be it’s mistaking radioactive silver for another element entirely, in which case there would be a massive counter deficit in its makeup and easily analyzed. Could we trick other useful insects to do the same for other elements?

    • lam335 lam335

      “We can breed insects to clean up for us – rename this spider the ‘Silver Sweeper’”

      Sounds like the makings of a sci-fi movie. We breed a massive army of spiders to eat up the radiation all over Fuku, thinking they can clean the forests and mountains more effectively than man, but then some sort of mutation happens to the spiders and their brains develop changes that eventually enable them to turn on their creators/”masters” . . . It would be like Arachnophobia combined with the Terminator.

      It’s not a movie I care to see. My previous apartment had a spider issue. I can’t stand the way their legs move when they walk (but perhaps they watch us with their multiple eyes and think the same thing about us–the ones in the movie would, at any rate).

      • StPaulScout StPaulScout

        Bear in mind the radiation only concentrates within the spiders. It sits in the spiders and when they die, it sits where the spider decomposed. Nothing magical is occuring. Radiation is not being destroyed. It is only being concentrated for final deposition once the spider dies. Are these spiders on the menu for other insects and birds? If so, it will concentrate to even higher levels and be deposited either in excrement or the dead bodies of whatever ate the spiders. The ‘food chain’ will tend to concentrate the radiation ‘up’ until the apex predator eats the most contaminated prey. Just because radiation gets eaten doesn’t mean it is gone. It just gets carried around until it’s host dies.

        • radegan

          Think of them as little shovels. You don’t set them free, you pour the soil through their cages and let them eat the isotopes. Then when they’re full, you encase them and shoot them into deep space. Now if we can just find some uranium eating caterpillars…

        • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

          Excellent clarification StPaulScott
          I have quit trying to do the same as it turned out to be a huge time sink for me.
          It eventually seemed like herding cats.
          The difference between actual radiation and radioactive debris/fallout seems so easily missed on so many.
          Yet the distinction is so critical in terms of the context of the situation.

        • Sickputer

          Ah yes…how many times have I seen the question here: “Why so many birds flocking to the nuclear plant’?

          Answer: dead insects killed by radiation that look like a tasty meal to the birds.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Never saw this place before:
    The Radiation Database
    I like the Spacey Music.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Audio track is “What’s the Use?” by Phish, off their “Sicket Disc” an ambient jam album.
      HOW FITTING. 🙁

  • goathead goathead

    This is nice concise overview of the unfolding tragedy and what we can expect from the radioactivity…….

  • Bobby1

    An entry dated Sept. 30 in Professor Mori’s blog: (Japanese)

    “According to the results of forest research in the field of radioactive contamination, the concentration of radioactive cesium contained in the rain
    林外Rain: 0.76 Bq / kg
    Rain forests 
      Hardwood: 79.8 Bq / kg 
      Young cedar: one hundred seventy-four Bq / L , stem flow  73.5 Bq / kg
     Cedar magnificent: two hundred forty-five Bq / L , stem flow 108.2 Bq / kg

    And, therefore, the concentration of spring water flowing down the rain forests are more than 100 times the concentration of the rainwater that is seen.”

    If you think that rainwater has high levels of cesium, the spring water flowing from forests that got rained on has MORE THAN 100 TIMES MORE CESIUM. Think bottled water, labels with pure mountain forests on them, etc. People that live in mountain or forested areas should think about where their water is coming from.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hi Bobby1, good post, thank you. This is so worrying! usually one would assume that there is nothing more pure and fresh than spring water….how wrong can you be 🙁

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        Thank you Bobby. Posted to HP.
        A side note: We hp regulars SAVE THREAD to disc periodically.
        Because we post NEW NEWS there everyday, it’s a great way to find EVERY SINGLE LINK ever posted on Japan if you save to DISC. Doesn’t mean YOU should. Just an idea for those who want to.

      • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

        I mentioned being sick today with a bloody nose & even coughing up bloody sputum for the 1st time!(my family has had ongoing issues for much longer though)My point being that I’ve been buying,drinking nothing but bottled water that says “purified”on the labels,especially by reverse osmosis and my well-meaning mother in law had gotten us Jewel Food Store generic “Spring Water” that I was instantly suspicious of enough to read the fine print on the label and sure enough it was from “Albertson’s”-collected & bottled in Idaho!!-YIKES!?!!,I think we’d be better off sticking with Chicago tap water with it’s levels diluted by the vastness of Lake Michigan than any “natural” sources from Idaho of all places!!Maybe ingesting the shit from fukushima cannot be avoided-but surely by paying attention to the details when available can possibly reduce the levels we take into our bodies whenever possible to minimize the concentrations of the crap?! I feel another food & water phobic personal response is gonna take hold on me again like the hunger & dehydration I subjected myself to for months immediately following the 3/11 event! Am I being un-necessarily anxious or even paranoid here or wisely cautious?!!

        • ocifferdave

          It is natural that you are going through this knowing what you know. We pay the government to protect us and inform us and provide us the necessary logistical apparatus to get us clean food/water. The government is supposed to be working for us. We are its masters. We just have forgotten that for far too long. So instead we the few informed are having to figure this all out on our own and its a large uphill battle faught with gritted-teeth determination and uber caution. You are in a health battlezone. Game on!

        • Anthony Anthony

          Of course its very concerning. Hope you find healing.

        • Bobby1

          Yes, Lake Michigan should dilute it (for now). You should have a reverse osmosis water purifier though, to take out not only the radiation but also the fluoride and other chemicals in the tap water.

          It’s cheaper to get RO anyway, you make the money back in a few months vs. buying bottled water.

  • goathead goathead

    Then there’s the the cocktail of radionuclide that the trees absorb only to be released when burnt to keep you warm during the winter!
    You’d think twice about about charcoal for your barbecue!!

    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

      Dear Goathead: I went last night to a U.C. Berkeley Labs soils talk given by the propagandists/main researchers at U.C. Berkeley trying to sell biomass fuels…a very disappointing talk. I had hoped that these researchers would focus on the role of Glomalin in carbon sequestration problem solutions and its potential positive benefits in reducing greenhouse gases in contrived “negative (a good thing) feedback loops”. Anyway, they did not discuss this; but did remind me of an important problem related to your post, which is that as the planet warms through anthropogenic thermal maximum, and the warming is along an exponential pattern now, we will see the soil biology, many different types of Actinobacteria as a specific bacterial class of soil bacteria, release increasing amounts of carbon and all of it’s delightful newly acquired diverse radionuclides into the atmosphere. The rate of release increases significantly with not terribly steep increases (each .5C) in average annual temperature. This is another of those pesky “positive (not good) feedback loops” that we keep hearing about related to the next most awful thing capitalism has created, runaway global warming (anthropogenic thermal maximum and associated mass extinctions). It’s now time, of course, to throw out the current greed and power addled leaderships, as their lack of urgency about doing all the right things that are required or that need to be invented inevitably at the loss of their profits is not appropriate given the decreasing nature of available time to turn anything around. My point is that even when it’s warm enough to not burn wood, the carbon and radiation budget of the soils will be released, but from the soil by bacterial action.

      • ocifferdave

        As arclight said yesterday…merde.

        anthropogenic…I’m going to not use the internet on this one….
        “anthro” means man
        “genic” means create or make?

    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

      Hugs to Whoopie! TY for the link. They’re already RE-contaminating all citizens of Japan, even in Tokyo with its 38m souls, with blatantly criminally stupid incineration of radioactive wastes!

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Majia’s New Post just came up on Google’s “Nuclear Industry LIES”:

    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

      Dear Whoopie: I love Majia’s posts. I, btw, hope you and yours are well. (tongue in cheek) I wonder who or what TEPCO is trying to say is moderating the ongoing cyclic spontaneous fissioning of the coriums that they say isn’t occurring. lol

  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    Radioactive silver. Radioactive Cesium, Radioactive Hydrogen and, therefore water, Strontium, Plutonium (various geologic) species, Uranium 235 (neutron shedding), Radioactive Iodine, Xenon…I have to find the link to the typical radionuclides found in a fission by-product fallout/emissions profile. It’s many dozens, or hundreds really including the shorter-lived isotopes, en toto. This spider here is bioaccumulating radioactive silver very efficiently. Are there any studies on collective accumulation of all the extremely diverse and environmentally extant radionuclide fallout emitters, collectively measured, in bioaccumulation in biological entities? What is the total radionuclide accumulation of all fission by-products bioaccumulated??? This must be determined and is not, so far and oddly (though perhaps for good logistic measurement barrier reasons). If I’m wrong, I would love to have resources to educate myself about this issue of overall bioaccumulation of ALL Fukushima Dai ichi fission by-products in any animal studied. Is such a pursuit, impossible? I understand the specific and focused nature of studies in science having worked in pathology, food sciences, and otherwise in hospitals and don’t really think there is anything unusual about the narrow parameters of these studies. However, the reportage not mentioning overall radionuclide accumulation rates could be seen as a propaganda tactic to help us minimize (“us” being all civilian, non-expert readership with the potential to aggregate political power to quickly enforce improved transparency and timely responsiveness of the parties at fault)the overall effects of this, never worse for humans or the earth, cataclysm with the potential to destroy all life for many many millions of years without much more timely remediation brainstorming, invention, implementation and management of this cataclysm by the public without draconian parasitic and profiteering human status quos of the present in power.

  • bmurr bmurr

    great, now i cant eat spiders eithet, what next?

  • “They do not want to know. The trauma of the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan and elsewhere remains in our collective unconscious. The trace of horror and guilt is carved deep, so deep that the collective societal response to the return of the nuclear horror is denial.”

  • Could it be that the WHOLE COUNTRY is in the middle of a massive PTSD episode, even as another nuclear holocaust envelopes and surrounds them, killing them slowly, but surely?

    How many soldiers suffer PTSD and end up committing suicide, rather than getting help?

    Now we have a country suffering from PTSD due to nuclear bombs dropped on them. Will they commit suicide, or get help?

  • I am amazed that no corporation has grabbed onto this headline and announced the formation of a new company that will take advantage of and profit from all of this ‘free’ silver.

    The Health Ministry can just raise the ‘safe’ levels of radiation for silver products, so that all of it will be ‘normal’, no matter whether it comes from radioactive spiders, Fukushima fallout dust, or whereever, just like they did for all food and drinks, including drinking water.

    When fingers start falling off due to the radiation from silver rings, that will not be a problem… it will be blamed on spider bites, and poison will be sprayed over all the forests to kill the spiders. Radiation just makes you healthier, or so says Anne Coltier of Faux News.

    Children have stopped growing in Fukushima province due to radiation exposure? No problem says the doctor, just feed them more protein and give them more exercise. He claims that radiation ABSOLUTELY CANNOT be the cause of this. It has to be stress and lack of protein.. In other words, all of the parents are defective and obsolete. Uh huh and the glowing tooth fairy is coming tonight to pay you your two silver YenBucks, made from radioactive silver spider webs.