Operation Crossroads, which had its first big event—the dropping of a nuclear bomb—on July 1, , was just the beginning of the nuclear testing that Bikini Atoll would be subjected to. When the first bomb of the tests dropped, it was the first time since the attacks on Japan that a nuclear weapon had been deployed. Here are three things you might not know about the infamous tests:. The test subjects were ghost ships full of animals.
Nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll
PHOTOS: The largest-ever nuclear tests conducted by the US - Insider
Bikini Atoll might sound like an idyllic island getaway, but any visitors would be better off wearing a biohazard suit than swimwear, as the nuclear fallout from tests carried out by the US military over 60 years ago has left parts of the Marshall Islands more radioactive than Chernobyl. In the aftermath of the hydrogen bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in , the US and Soviet governments entered into a nuclear arms race that became known as the Cold War. Like rival baboons trying to intimidate each other with the size of their bottoms, neither side ever actually pushed the button, but both engaged in some serious nuclear posturing, setting off mushroom clouds in remote testing sites as a display of their might and stupidity. Between and , the US conducted almost 70 nuclear bomb tests in the Marshall Islands, a chain of atolls and volcanic islands in the central Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between Hawaii and the Philippines. The explosion completely vaporized a nearby artificial island and left a crater measuring 1. Radioactive fallout from Castle Bravo made the atoll unsafe for human habitation, and researchers from Columbia University have now analyzed radiation levels in the Bravo crater, with some shocking results. Publishing their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , the authors explain how they dove to depths of around 60 meters feet to collect samples of sediment from different points across the crater.
The Crazy Story of the 1946 Bikini Atoll Nuclear Tests
The isolated Marshall Islands are a diver's paradise, a coral-lined home to 53, people, and the site of the most devastating nuclear tests the US ever conducted. From to , the low-lying atolls, tiny lines of sand created by volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean, sitting some 2, miles east of Hawaii, became the sight of the US's "Pacific Proving Grounds," a show of post-WWII force to the world. Radioactive fallout from the hydrogen blasts, teeming with plutonium and cesium, spread far wider than scientists had expected. Here's how it happened:.
The nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll program was a series of 23 nuclear weapons detonated by the United States between and at seven test sites on the reef itself, on the sea, in the air, and underwater. The United States was engaged in a Cold War nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union to build more advanced bombs from until The second was Baker and was suspended under a barge. It produced a large Wilson cloud and contaminated all of the target ships. Chemist Glenn T.