Shooting Bruce Banner with extreme doses of gamma rays turned him into the mean, green, rage machine - The Incredible Hulk, but what exactly happens outside the pages of a comic book when a human has been directly exposed to 3 x the lethal limit of radiation? We talk a lot about the worst ways to die on Twisted History, and radiation exposure may take the cake.
The scene from the 2000 X-Men
movie film where Senator Robert Kelly melts off the operating table is a pretty spot-on portrayal of the effects of insane amounts of radiation particles. BUT, you don't melt into Capri Sun liquid cool characters; your skin, bones, and internal organs would turn into a red, blistered, goopy sludge. We know this because scientists have done extensive studies on the effects of radiation, sometimes completely ignoring morality by turning patients into human guinea pigs.
On September 30, 1999 Hisashi Ouchi became a human science project when sub-par training, outdated equipment, and working around regulations caught up to employees at the Tokaimura Nuclear Power Plant. While attempting to fix a reactor tank that reached critical mass, a nuclear fission reaction occurred. With a loud bang and flash of bright light, Hisashi was essentially hit with an atomic bomb blast at point-blank range while leaning into the tank.
Some employees in the room died almost instantly, while Hisachi Ouchi who was directly over the tank seemed to be ALMOST COMPLETELY FINE. When medivacked to the emergency room, Hisachi was sitting up in bed joking with doctors. Were scientists dealing with the new arrival to the Marvel Universe?
No. Well, if melting into a puddle of yourself one time is a superpower then, yes.
Hisachi's condition went from stable to severe as his internal organs slowly began to hemorrhage. For weeks, Hitachi was kept alive as the National Institute of Radiological Sciences conducted test after test on the effects of radiation. Hisachi Ouchi begged doctors to let him die, and stop treating him as a Guinea Pig, but doctors claimed the research was too valuable. After 83 days of pure hell, doctors took Hisachi off life support and let him pass away.
More detail on poor Hisachi and other messed up characters like the Vampire of Dusselldorf on the new Twisted History Podcast.