What does a coral reef look like 50 years after being nuked? Not so bad, it seems. Coconuts growing on Bikini Atoll haven't fared so well, however.
Three islands of Bikini Atoll were vapourised by the Bravo hydrogen bomb in 1954, which shook islands 200 kilometres away. Instead of finding a bare underwater moonscape, ecologists who have dived it have given the 2-kilometre-wide crater a clean bill of health.
"It was fascinating – I’ve never seen corals growing like trees outside of the Marshall Islands," says Zoe Richards of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia.