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The Sinister Beauty of Nuclear Mutations

For nearly 25 years, science-illustrator Cornelia Hesse-Honegger has been making lovingly detailed drawings of the bizarre insect mutations to be found at Chernobyl.

The Sinister Beauty of Nuclear Mutations



You could easily mistake Cornelia Hesse-Honegger's gorgeous insect drawings for the work of some retiring naturalist, in the vein of James Audobon.

But they've got an apocalyptic bent: Each of the drawings depicts a deformed bug, found at Cernobyl or a number of other nuclear reactor sites.

Hesse-Honegger, who is 65, spent the first 25 years of her career as an illustrator at Zurich's Museum of Natural History. But documenting these deformed bugs is her life's work: She has been at it ever since the Chernobyl disaster, in 1986.

Check out more images at But Does it Float—it's haunting stuff.