Is it possible that all life in the Pacific Ocean is on the verge of being wiped out but that knowledge is being kept from you by an unholy alliance of international governments, corporations and a compliant news media?

No. But that doesn’t stop people from believing it. Just when it seemed those scary Facebook posts had gone away, they came back again last week.

The gist of the arguments is that the spill of radioactive cooling water at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami is spreading across the Pacific, annihilating everything in its path.

There were the oldie but goodies: “Holy Fukushima – Radiation From Japan Is Already Killing North Americans” (that’s the one with the “Radioactive Impact Map” that actually only shows the variation in wave height  during the tsunami) and “28 Signs That the West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear Radiation From Fukushima” (proving that nothing – not even the end of the world – is safe from being made into a listicle).

And then there was a new one, “Radioactive Gigantism Strikes California”, claiming that a giant squid (about the size of a small whale) had washed ashore in Santa Monica. It seemed to have been taken seriously, despite the  fact that this pretty obviously came from a satirical news site ala the Onion (does Lightly Braised Turnip sound like a trustworthy source of information?).,0,5409452.story#ixzz2qLC2xHht