Much has certainly been said about the Fukushima nuclear meltdown that occurred nearly 12 years ago, triggered by the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan. Today, the exclusion zone set up around the plant is much smaller, but as this somewhat haunting video shows, that doesn't change the fate of vehicles abandoned in the area following the initial evacuation.
The YouTube channel Exploring the Unbeaten Path offers a glimpse of this fate in a video focusing on abandoned cars in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone. In some areas, vehicles have been collected and moved to storage areas for eventual processing. In others, we simply see portions of a car glimmering through tall grass, apparently sitting where it was left when the disaster struck. This appears to be the case with a silver Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, nearly hidden in grass reaching above the roof. Or, it could've been deposited there by the massive tsunami that struck the country following the off-shore quake.
The Evo isn't the only car of interest in this video. Kei cars, sedans, trucks, and many common daily-driven vehicles are seemingly everywhere, but then the urban explorer happens upon an old Datsun race car. A radiation check shows a reading of 0.45 microsieverts coming from the racer, a level not far above normal but still too much to be exported.
Through the course of the 16-minute clip, we see a wide range of sought-after Japanese classics. A Subaru WRX comes into view at one point, followed by an R32 Nissan Skyline and 300ZX slowly rotting away in the sun. Radiation doesn't discriminate between makes and models, as seen with an abandoned used car lot filled with classic American and German vehicles. An air-cooled Porsche 911 Carrera 4 from the 964 era covered in dirt tugs particularly hard at the heartstrings.
Whereas cars caught in a flood might be rebuildable or salvageable for parts, radiation doesn't go away. While the old Datsun at the beginning of the video had a low rad level of 0.45 microsieverts, the auto yard featured at the end showed readings up to 5.0 microsieverts, well above normal background radiation. Unfortunately, that means the Subaru WRX STI, VW Scirocco, and Honda S2000 seen in this field are destined for destruction.