Sunday, September 11, 2011

Time-Lapse Map of Nuclear Bomb Tests 1945-1999

Do you have 15 minutes to gain a comprehension of the 2053 nuclear bombs that were exploded between 1945 and 1999? A Japanese artist named Isao Hashimoto created an amazing video that shows every one of those bombs overlaid on a map of Earth, colorcoded to tell which country set it off, and sized to give a sense of the megatonage.

At first the time-lapse seems too slow, but by the time you get to the 1950's you understand the need for the slow but steady beat of each month of each year.

It's frightening how many bombs the United States set off in its own western lands. The Soviet Union and China also used their own land, but being smaller both England and France used their colonies: England exploded many bombs in Australia, and France used both northwest Africa and the southern Pacific (Tahitian island chain) for its tests.

It gets quiet in the late 1980s, then there's a flurry in the late 1990s when Pakistan and India go through an escalation that almost led to nuclear war.

What has been the impact of these tests on the planet?

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