The Godzilla movies were amazing, at the time they were possibly one of the best films in “history.” This was perhaps one of the first movies that had City Destroying Monsters as the main Character, but where did it come from?
As a child, these movies scared the life out of me, animals already look and act mean enough, now imagine a Snake, or a Lizard, or even an Ant, the size of a sky scraper. As an adult, the movies look more like a child’s play in pre-school. But where did the whole idea of creating a radio active monster come from? well, against popular belief, Godzilla was not kicked out of the NFL and got mad at the world then started stumping away at Japan. you’ll be shocked to know that the US had a HUGE influence on the monster’s creation.
It all started on March 1, 1954 when Daigo Fukuryu Maru or Lucky Dragon 5, a Japanese tuna fish was contaminated from nuclear fallout from the United States Castle Bravo thermonuclear device test on Bikini Atoll, part of the Marshall Islands that were used by USA to run nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
During this “trial period” the United States gave Japan a map with circles labeled the “Danger Zone” meaning that boats inside the zone would get nuclear fall out and to keep any boats outside of the Nuclear Fallout zone at all times.
So, on March 1, 1954, the Daigo Fukuryo Maru went out on their fishing expeditions. The boat departed their station in Yaizu Japan, 23 fisher men were given the task to catch Tuna near the Marshall Islands where the USA was performing nuclear tests.
When the test was held on that day, the Daigo Fukuryu Maru was catching fish well outside the danger zone. However, the test was over twice as wide the danger zone. Additionally, the wind was blowing towards the direction of the fishermen and it blew nuclear fallout in shape of ash made from calcined coral that had absorbed highly radioactive fission products.
The fishermen began to scoop up the ash with their bare hands and dumping it over the sea, but the ash kept on raining over their heads and it stuck to everything it touched. The Daigo Fukuryu Maru returned to shore and delivered it’s cargo to be sold into the fish market. Several days later the Fishermen began to die from radiation sickness, after the symptoms, the fisher men called nuclear fall out, “shi no hai” or death ash.
Of course, the US denied the whole thing and blamed it on the Russians, additionally the US did not want to tell the Doctors what kind of Composition the ash was made off, Uranium – 237, because they felt that it could reveal how the bomb was made. Instead the us paid the family of the affected $2,000.
The news eventually hit the Japanese community, and speculation began to spread like wild fire. Uncertainty about what the fallout could do to humans and how it could mutate cells brought up many questions. What happened to the fish that were sold in the market? who ate those fish? and what if… out in the Marshall lands, animals were exposed to the Nuclear Fallout, how did the fallout affect their bodies? and thus… Godzilla came to existence. At that time, the United States felt that Godzilla could turn into an Anti-American movement so the United States and Japan quickly negotiated an agreement for $2 million dollars to keep the incident under wraps.
The movie Gojira (Godzilla) sold over 9 million tickets when it was released in Japan, it quickly became the Icon, and many more movies followed after. Including Godzilla v/s King Kong and MechaGodzilla etc. Other movies jumped into the trend of giant monsters mutated by nuclear fallout or toxic spills, movies like Ants, Deadly Mantis, Black Scorpion, and many more. Made millions of dollars in the “giant bug” bubble. Via: Wikipedia