The way Pripyat's ecosystem seemed to shrug off the contamination caught the attention of the scientific world and in 2005, the UN even published a report about the phenomenon.Then, in 2007, a group of researchers wearing masks, goggles and gloves decided to investigate just how the plants were able to survive.
They went into the restricted area and planted soybean and flax seeds on a highly contaminated field just a few kilometres from the site of the accident, in the environs of Pripyat.
Then they sowed the same kind of seeds on a control field in the decontaminated region near the city of Chernobyl.
One of the researchers, Martin Hajduch from the Slovak Academy of Sciences, told BBC News that even though previous studies had analysed how genes mutated because of radioactivity, his team wanted to do something different.
They wanted to investigate the molecular mechanisms allowing plants to adapt to such a contaminated environment.
To do that, they waited for the plants to grow and produce new seeds and then examined their proteins.
"We decided to apply a... methodology called 'proteomics' that is capable of identifying hundreds of proteins," said Dr Hajduch.
He explained that proteomics was a study of proteins - vital parts of all living organisms. ...
The scientist noted that there were probably historic reasons why it was a lot easier for plants to get used to living in increased levels of radiation.
"It is just unbelievable how quickly this ecosystem has been able to adapt," he said.
"[There must be] some kind of mechanism that plants already have inside them. Radioactivity has always been present here on Earth, from the very early stages of our planet's formation.
"There was a lot more radioactivity on the surface back then than there is now, so probably when life was evolving, these plants came across radioactivity and they probably developed some mechanism that is now in them." ...
via BBC News - Chernobyl plant life endures radioactivity.