©U.S. Department of Energy
You may be questioning everything happening in this photo. Well, the ooze looking material is Corium, one the most dangerous radioactive materials in the world. Also known as elephant’s foot, it is the leftover material of a nuclear core after a meltdown. How dangerous is it, you ask? If you were anywhere near it during its creation, you would’ve died in mere minutes. The photo was taken a few decades after its formation but is still considered one of the most dangerous radioactive substances.
The person in the photo is of Artur Koryenev inspecting the elephant’s foot. The photo has also recently been rumored to be by Artur Koryenev as well. According to Atlas Obscura writer, David Goldenberg, similar photos accredited to Koryenev have helped deduce the idea that this photo was a selfie. With a slow shutter speed and timer, Koryenev was able to stage and take this photo of himself with the deadly material.
The best part of all this? Koryenev is probably still alive to talk about it. His last interview was in 2014 with The New York Times. Who wouldn’t want to take a selfie and prove that you were near one of the most radioactive materials in the world? We all try to take awesome selfies but this one takes the cake.