Join 3,564 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Atomic explosions
October 15, 2008 12:28 PM   Subscribe

Atomic and nuclear explosions.

Tsar bomb
Operation crossroads, 1946
Atomic cannon
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Atomic bomb tested on U.S. troops
Dominic I
Dominic Sunset
First H-bomb
First British H-Bomb
Chinese nuclear test
posted by swift (77 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
POST APPROVED!
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on October 15, 2008


Skwisgaar Skwigelf taller than a tree
Toki Wartooth not a bumblebee
William Murderface Murderface Murderface
Pickles the Drummer doodily doo ding dong doodily doodily doo
Nathan Explosion

posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:37 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


yeah, that's a pretty good approximation of how I feel today. beautiful and yet annihilating.
posted by philip-random at 12:39 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


... and I'm guessing Ms. Palin could see that Tsar one from her kitchen.
posted by philip-random at 12:40 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ow, my bombs!
posted by Venadium at 12:48 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I found Tsar Bomba's ground zero on Google Maps.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:49 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


More info on the Tsar bomb.
posted by swift at 12:51 PM on October 15, 2008


We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.
Keep smiling through, just like you always do,
'Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away.

So will you please say hello to the folks that I know,
Tell them I won't be long.
They'll be happy to know that as you saw me go,
I was singing this song.

We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.

posted by xbonesgt at 12:54 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 1:10 PM on October 15, 2008


Someone answered the red phone.

From the wikilink on the tsar bomb:"The mock bomb was stored in the Russian Nuclear Weapons Museum in Sarov."

Sure it's a mock bomb.

And that cameraman's job sucks. Also hate to have him for a dad.

These are pretty cool looking, but think we should limit doing this to important holidays only. Like the 4th of July or Yom Kippor, not popping one off because your team hit a home run.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:10 PM on October 15, 2008


also, I'm pretty sure it's "Nucular"...
posted by indiebass at 1:13 PM on October 15, 2008


War... War never changes.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:14 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Duck! And cover!
posted by not_on_display at 1:25 PM on October 15, 2008


For those who want more, in printed form, I recommend the book 100 Suns. Some of the photos are amazingly quiet and graceful.
posted by echo target at 1:26 PM on October 15, 2008


Don't forget the French or the British.
posted by acro at 1:30 PM on October 15, 2008


Are you sure it says "MOCK BOMB", and not "MOCKBA"? I mean, worse mistakes have been made...
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:33 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Don't forget the French or the British.

Or Hollywood.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 1:36 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have trouble with the scale of these explosions. In general, how far away are the cameras? How high do the mushroom clouds go? Are there any online graphics available to show scale .... against a building or something?
posted by punkfloyd at 1:37 PM on October 15, 2008


This post is backed with NUCLEAR WEAPONS!
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:39 PM on October 15, 2008


Don't forget the French or the British.

Blue Steel!
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on October 15, 2008


I have trouble with the scale of these explosions.

This might help a little: blast radius map generator.
posted by swift at 1:47 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Everybody dies.
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


"I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

-- J. Robert Oppenheimer's thoughts on witnessing the Trinity detonation
posted by digaman at 1:53 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


This post was basically running as a continuous loop in my mind when I was a kid.
posted by digaman at 1:56 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then,
Sayin, "Hey I've been havin' the same old dreams,
But mine was a little different you see.
I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me.
I didn't see you around."

Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody's having them dreams.
Everybody sees themselves walkin' around with no one else.
Half of the people can be part right all of the time,
Some of the people can be all right part of the time.
But all the people can't be all right all the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours,"
I said that.


Bob Dylan
posted by klanawa at 2:03 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Eyes melt skin explodes everybody dead
posted by kcds at 2:07 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Eyes melt skin explodes everybody dead

No no no, that's a chemical bomb.
posted by cog_nate at 2:18 PM on October 15, 2008


I certainly hope we won't be seeing any of these up close soon.
posted by SaintCynr at 2:19 PM on October 15, 2008


Cog_nate - Nope, thats a neutron bomb. Destroys people - leaves buildings standing. Fits in a suitcase. It's so small, no one knows it's there until - BLAMMO!
posted by Artw at 2:21 PM on October 15, 2008


They hate us for our freedoms, and our bombs.
posted by RussHy at 2:23 PM on October 15, 2008


Artw, I think you may have missed the joke. kcds was quoting an Aquabats song.

Regardless, the Federation of American Scientists has a Nuclear Weapon Effects Calculator. Also, it's no longer freely available online, but the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists published an article entitled "City on Fire". Very worth reading.
posted by cog_nate at 2:24 PM on October 15, 2008


(Or maybe you got it and made a similar reference that I didn't get. Hard telling around here sometimes.)
posted by cog_nate at 2:27 PM on October 15, 2008


I've always loved the video associated with the the Atomic Cannon. It seems so absurdly fake, which is what makes it's realness so much cooler.

Speaking of "fake" footage, from that link: This video shows the effects of a small atomic bomb.

I've often wondered about how awesome it would be to mock up video footage of a milli-ton or a nano-ton nuke going off. Like a little waist high mushroom cloud blowing up in a sandbox or something.

I think the idea came from MDK's World's Smallest Nuclear Bomb.
posted by quin at 2:28 PM on October 15, 2008


Atomic and nuclear explosions

Atomic bombs are nuclear bombs. Maybe you're thinking of the distinction between fission and fusion weapons.
posted by beagle at 2:32 PM on October 15, 2008


Let's not forget the Test Veterans, many of whom (like my father-in-law, who witnessed US tests in the South Pacific, endured years of official denials, and only received terminal care from the VA once he signed a disclaimer of all military liability) aren't around any more.
posted by scruss at 2:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Behold! The awesome power of man's ability to shovel billions of dollars into a weapon that would herald the end of the world. Now that's entertainment!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:33 PM on October 15, 2008


All my years of being unable to suppress the urge to read you tube comments have finally paid off:

iPopcorn (6 hours ago):

my farts are bigger

posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:37 PM on October 15, 2008


posted by Slarty Bartfast

Slarty Bartfast = Arty Fartblasts?
posted by swift at 2:41 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Boom-Boom! Shaka-lacka-lacka Boom!
posted by Balisong at 2:47 PM on October 15, 2008


Threads. WARNING: not funny.
posted by philip-random at 2:47 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


All of 'em. Well...the US ones, anyway.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:57 PM on October 15, 2008


AGH, not Threads. Jesus Hooterfucking Christ that fucked with my childhood.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:08 PM on October 15, 2008


Okay. So this sounds weird but i got the impression in the H-Bomb Test that was a government made film and they were attempting to make it as dramatic and serious as possible. Like they were saying "Look this is nothing to fuck around with, kids. You SHOULD be afraid." Now sure those Scientist cats didn't really know what they were doing and they ended up doing some heinous shit. But mostly out of ignorance. But they sure as shit LOOKED and acted like grown-ups who were serious. They were the most competent of their day.

Now. Imagine that same kind of thing being done by the incompetent Bush, or if you really want to shit your pants, a PALIN administration.

Holy fuck. I really hope there are no more weapons technology "break-throughs."
posted by tkchrist at 3:08 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Neutron bombs can and will destroy structures; they're bombs afterall. They don't really destroy organic material like I think a lot of people think they do, they just really fuck you up with massive doses of radiation. The best part is you probably won't even die right away, instead you'll be turned into a walking ghost.
posted by Venadium at 3:11 PM on October 15, 2008


/artw cries at an internet where Repo Man quotes go unrecognised.
posted by Artw at 3:18 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Total power equivalent to two Hiroshimas per day 365 days per year for 36 years--1945 to 1980.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:19 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


and as the windshield melts
my tears evaporate...
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 3:20 PM on October 15, 2008


It's amazing to me that refrigerators can withstand these kinds of blasts.
posted by everichon at 3:31 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


La la la la la Tsar Bomba...
posted by kirkaracha at 3:34 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Threads. The part that gets me is the scene with the woman and a man redecorating. It's an out of context scene, but it could easily be a nursery that she and her husband are making for their first child. She just slowly goes to tears and sobs when it becomes clear that the attack is underway.

As a father I can relate to that feeling of utter futility; that my child might not ever know the world I knew it because a small group of people decided to destroy it. It makes me want to sob right now just thinking of it.

In my weaker moments, I wonder how we allowed the world to become wired for its own destruction and then put the power to do it in the hands of so few. Surely if we are about to destroy the entire planet we should all have a vote or something.

Nuclear weapons terrified me as a child and teenager growing up. They still terrify me, and nothing in the beauty of these films or the casual off hand humorous thought of a Palin administration does anything to alleviate my fears of these things. It is a serious state of affairs that the world is armed with these weapons and that we should feel so powerless to do anything about it.
posted by salishsea at 3:36 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I come and stand at every door...
posted by boo_radley at 3:42 PM on October 15, 2008


Nuclear weapons terrified me as a child and teenager growing up. ... It is a serious state of affairs that the world is armed with these weapons and that we should feel so powerless to do anything about it.

I'm with you on this one. When Reagan was president it seemed there wasn't a week that went by without a movie, made-for-TV movie, afterschool special, or cartoon hammering home the message that the Soviets have nuclear weapons and they're going to kill us all. I had nightmares about nuclear war and it frustrated me to the point of tears that adults could be stupid enough to put us all under the threat of weapons that could destroy most life on the planet. Not even that "mutually assured destruction" logic helped, because it was essentially admitting we could still have proxy wars, and could still pour billions into anti-missile systems while people starved, and that our existence is hinged on either our guy or theirs not losing his temper some day.

I normally enjoy the aesthetic appeal of big explosions as much as anyone else. I guess that old Cold War conditioning is still stuck with me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:49 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Post apocalyptic.
posted by underthehat at 4:11 PM on October 15, 2008


Growing up with nukes already around makes it sort of a fact of life for me. I'm much more worried about an engineered virus wiping us out, or just making us so bad off that we wished we were dead.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:13 PM on October 15, 2008


Needs more Gap Band.

“Blue Steel!”

I prefer Magnum!

“Surely if we are about to destroy the entire planet we should all have a vote or something.”

That’s what so scary about the ‘rogue nuke’ scenario. The few thousand - odd killed by a suitcase nuke or small yield bomb is trite by comparison to the potential “what did you expect, I’m a scorpion?” reflex.

I think though most organizations, even the most rabid terrorists, have a healthy “let’s eliminate the crazy guy who wants to destroy the world” sort of reaction, even within their own outfit. The whole General Ripper scenario would never happen.
That, of course, doesn’t justify the whole ‘hair trigger’ thing. Still scares the hell out of me.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:16 PM on October 15, 2008


Atomic
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:22 PM on October 15, 2008


Baby's got an atom bomb
posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Threads was bad... I watched it quite recently and, though a bit 80s in parts, still holds up. A couple of years after it was shown I went to University in Sheffield were it was set. I remember walking around the city thinking 'Here's the council chambers that the bunker is underneath... oh there was a mushroom cloud at the end of this street'

The War Game, which was banned for years, seemed even more effective when I saw it again at about the same time I re-watched Threads. Not really the most cheerful double bill.

The War Game on Youtube 1, 2
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:34 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damn, second link here. And embedding's been disabled so they won't play in popups, you'll have to click through to youtube
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:37 PM on October 15, 2008


I was 13 when The Day After came out, and what with the media hype surrounding it, all I could think of until Gorbachev became premier was, "How quickly will I die when this happens? What's the best way to escape the city? Will I want even to be alive? Oh sweet spaghettimonster, what will it feel like? Will I get to see my parents before I die?" These thoughts haunted me for years.

So I'm glad I can watch these now and sleep at night, because I've convinced myself that a nuke-war won't happen, and if by chance it does, I've already had a good run on this earth, and I won't feel a thing.
posted by not_on_display at 4:45 PM on October 15, 2008


Yes: a childhood of justified paranoia was great fun, I tell you.
posted by everichon at 5:02 PM on October 15, 2008


and as the windshield melts
my tears evaporate...


Roger Waters ≠ happy fun time
posted by The Light Fantastic at 5:05 PM on October 15, 2008


Artw, please dry your tears. I was just late to the party. Artw? Artw?

Ah fuck it. Let's go get sushi and not pay.
posted by gofargogo at 5:22 PM on October 15, 2008


And we'll become silhouettes when our bodies finally go...

It's Christmas at Ground Zero / There's panic in the crowds...
posted by teraflop at 5:30 PM on October 15, 2008


Enola Gay you should have stayed at home yesterday.
posted by philip-random at 5:45 PM on October 15, 2008


You dropped a bomb on me.
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:52 PM on October 15, 2008


I've always loved the video associated with the the Atomic Cannon. It seems so absurdly fake, which is what makes it's realness so much cooler.


It was fake, at least according to a letter in a military history magazine I read (no cite, sorry). According to the writer, it was a mock-up demo for some bigwigs and instead of firing a nuclear bomb in an artillery shell they fired a blank. A few seconds after it fired, an explosives team (whom the letter writer was a member of) set off a massive pile of TNT just over the ridge line and out of sight.
posted by thecjm at 6:23 PM on October 15, 2008


non-atomic explosions:
toronto propane depot explosion
dutch firework factory accident (closer look)
cape canaveral delta II rocket explosion
nevada solid rocket fuel plant explosion
massive IED explosion in iraq

and a landslide brought it down...
posted by kliuless at 6:41 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


See, this way, when you see Baghdad go up this way, you'll all be, "Awww, I've already seen that!".
posted by Balisong at 6:49 PM on October 15, 2008


The rusty wire that holds the cork
That keeps the anger in
Gives way
And suddenly it's day again
The sun is in the east
Even though the day is done
Two suns in the sunset
Could be the human race is run
posted by lenny70 at 7:14 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

-- J. Robert Oppenheimer's thoughts on witnessing the Trinity detonation


Rumoured actual response (seriously): "Now we are all sons of bitches"
posted by kersplunk at 7:40 PM on October 15, 2008


Kenneth Bainbridge, according to Wikipedia.
posted by Artw at 8:11 PM on October 15, 2008


punkfloyd:

Look at the 'cannon' link in the post at about 1:40 in, you'll see a road leading to the horizon towards the base of the mushroom cloud from the atomic cannon shot.

thecjm:

The Grable shot (Atomic Cannon) definitely was not faked.
posted by pjern at 8:31 PM on October 15, 2008


See, this way, when you see Baghdad go up this way, you'll all be, "Awww, I've already seen that!".

Cure for cancer? Cure for AIDS? Nope instead we get B.O.B.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:19 AM on October 16, 2008


Cure for cancer? Cure for AIDS? Nope instead we get B.O.B.

Don't pull the thang out, unless you plan to bang!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:51 AM on October 16, 2008


Okay, maybe dumb question, but how did these films even get shot? I mean, these explosions ripped buses to smithereens. How, exactly, did the camera survive (and stay completely stable as well)?
posted by Deathalicious at 11:43 AM on October 16, 2008


How, exactly, did the camera survive

The Acme 35mm camera was designed for this purpose, and then went on to become a popular body for animation cameras. It is machined from a solid block of metal, and the film magazine is behind the camera instead of above it. This configuration is desirable in an animation camera, because the magazine ends up on top when the camera points down at the artwork. The usual configuration leaves the magazine hanging off the side.

Anyone looking for one? Email in profile.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:15 AM on October 18, 2008


« Older The Geek ABCs....  |  AIDS Orphans in Kenya: a distu... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments