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A baffling bloom of radiation detected spreading throughout Europe earlier this year has stumped scientists and spawned sinister conspiracy theories.
The ‘cloud’ of Iodine-131 first appeared near the border of Norway and Russia a few weeks ago and was subsequently spotted by a number of nearby countries, including France and Finland.
Authorities say that it appeared to be an isolated incident as radiation levels returned to normal shortly thereafter.
That said, the cause of the event remains a mystery, which has led some to propose the troubling theory that the radiation came from a clandestine nuclear test by Russia.
Others have expressed concerns that the radiation may be come from some kind of nuclear incident that is being kept secret.
The enlisting of a specialized US Air Force jet designed to ‘sniff’ radiation levels has only fueled the conspiratorial speculation that something nefarious may have occurred.
However, experts are attempting to quell such concerns and explain that since Iodine-131 was the sole radioactive substance detected, the origin of the bloom was probably an inadvertent leak at a pharmaceutical plant.
Their reasoning is that Iodine-131 is used in some cancer medications produced in the region and a similar spike in 2011 was eventually traced back to such a facility.
And so, while mysterious radiation coming from the border of Russia is understandably worrisome in these chaotic times, it would appear the bloom is the merely the product of bad medicine making.