The photo above is the closest humanity has ever come to creating Medusa. If you were to look at this, you would die instantly.
The image is of a reactor core lava formation in the basement of the Chernobyl nuclear plant. It’s called the Elephant’s Foot and weighs hundreds of tons, but is only a couple meters across.
Oh, and regarding the Medusa thing, this picture was taken through a mirror around the corner of the hallway. Because the wheeled camera they sent up to take pictures of it was destroyed by the radiation. The Elephant’s Foot is almost as if it is a living creature.
Nice photo, surprisingly few actual facts.
1 - Looking at this would not kill you. Hanging out close to it, unshielded, for about three minutes, would kill you, and even thirty seconds of exposure would in all likelihood lead to your eventual death, but it’s not magic.
2 - It doesn’t weigh hundreds of tons. It weighs about two tons, which makes sense, as it’s about ninety percent sand, the rest being uranium oxides and melted metal. Feel free to look up “Corium” on Wikipedia for further information.
3 - The wheeled camera first used to view it wasn’t destroyed. It took some fairly nice video you can watch on Youtube if you look for it. The radiation levels would probably heavily overexpose film if you didn’t take precautions, though. Maybe leaded glass. I’m also not sure how looking at it through a mirror would help, necessarily. You can’t hide from radiation exposure by going around a corner.
Anyway, the Chernobyl NPP disaster was a terrible thing that will leave an indelible mark upon the world, but it should be viewed as a learning experience and an object lesson in the dangers of doing things incorrectly. Not as a myth-shrouded bogeyman to scare us away from doing things at all.