PetaPixel

Photos from the World’s First Underwater Nuclear Explosion

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In in 1946, the United States conducted a series of nuclear weapon tests at Bikini Atoll in what’s known as Operation Crossroads. A total of two bombs were detonated to test the effects nuclear blasts had on naval warships. The second, named Baker, was the world’s first nuke to be detonated underwater. Due to the unique properties of underwater explosions, the Baker test produced a number of unique photographs that the world had never seen before.

Wikipedia states that “photographs of Baker are unique among nuclear detonation pictures”:

The blinding flash that usually obscures the target area took place underwater and was barely seen. The clear image of ships in the foreground and background gives a sense of scale. The large Wilson cloud and the vertical water column are distinctive Baker shot features, making the pictures easily identifiable.

The photograph above is an eerily beautiful image shot from 3.5 miles away showing the massive vertical water column. Check out this high-resolution version of the photo for a closer look.

Here’s a crop to give you a better sense of scale. That black thing on the right side of the column is one of the massive ships being lifted into the air:

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The blast lifted two million tons of water and sand into the air, creating a column 6,000 feet tall, 2,000 feet wide, and with walls 300 feet thick.

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crossroadsbaker-1

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The event was also captured on film:

There were many issues with cleaning up after the test, the life expectancy of people involved was reduced by an average of three months, and the test was later referred to as, “the world’s first nuclear disaster.” You can read up on the whole operation in detail on its Wikipedia article.


 
 
  • Adam Waldo

    you’re a pussy.

  • truth&dare

    Racism: using the bomb on the japs and not on the nazis.

  • neversink

    @ truth&dare — The war was over in Europe before the production of the atomic bomb.

    Never call anyone a racist. You haven’t even looked at the makeup of my family or even know who I am. One of the most racist societies is Japan. They have “Japanese Customers Only” signs in many businesses. Of course, not all Japanese are racist, but once you visit you will know that the Japanese culture does need some education in this area.

    Stop calling people racist when you read a post. I seen nothing racist about my post. Shame on you!!! By the way, unlike your name, you seem to know nothing about truth.

  • chris5436

    You are a fool.

    Do you know better than Eisenhower and Admiral William Leahy

    Leahy:

    “The other quote was from Admiral William Leahy, who was, in effect, sort of the Joint Chief of Staff, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They didn’t really have that title then but that was his function. And he made the statement that was in the exhibit, “It’s my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima, or Hiroshima, and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we’d adopted the ethical standard common to the barbarians of the dark ages. And I was not taught to make war in that fashion and when wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”"

    Eisenhower:
    “General Eisenhower and he spoke to both Secretary of War Henry Stimson and President Truman, telling them and asking them and pleading with them not to drop the bombs, not to drop the atomic bombs because Japan was already defeated. It would not take an invasion. It would not cause any problem other than simply accepting their proposal to surrender by allowing the emperor to remain in place and not be tried as a war criminal. And some of the thoughts that he had that were in the exhibit were, he said, “During Secretary Henry Stimson’s recitation of the relevant facts, I have been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I could voice to him my grave misgivings” – this is Eisenhower – “first, on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary. And, secondly, because I thought that our country should avoid shocking the world opinion by use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with the minimum of face. And the secretary of war was deeply perturbed by my attitude.” He then went on and talked to Truman and asked him not to drop the bombs.”

  • Chris

    Do you know better than Eisenhower and Admiral William Leahy

    Leahy:

    “The other quote was from Admiral William Leahy, who was, in effect, sort of the Joint Chief of Staff, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They didn’t really have that title then but that was his function. And he made the statement that was in the exhibit, “It’s my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima, or Hiroshima, and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we’d adopted the ethical standard common to the barbarians of the dark ages. And I was not taught to make war in that fashion and when wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”"

    Eisenhower:
    “General Eisenhower and he spoke to both Secretary of War Henry Stimson and President Truman, telling them and asking them and pleading with them not to drop the bombs, not to drop the atomic bombs because Japan was already defeated. It would not take an invasion. It would not cause any problem other than simply accepting their proposal to surrender by allowing the emperor to remain in place and not be tried as a war criminal. And some of the thoughts that he had that were in the exhibit were, he said, “During Secretary Henry Stimson’s recitation of the relevant facts, I have been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I could voice to him my grave misgivings” – this is Eisenhower – “first, on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary. And, secondly, because I thought that our country should avoid shocking the world opinion by use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with the minimum of face. And the secretary of war was deeply perturbed by my attitude.” He then went on and talked to Truman and asked him not to drop the bombs.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1308150112 Robert Bradford

    Quit embarrassing yourself. Here’s the cliff notes explanation for all of you ignorant sheeple:

    Pearl Harbor was not unprovoked, it was a false flag military operation and a retaliation to numerous American provocations. FDR had been toying with Japan 6 months prior to the attacks.

    FDR declared a total blockade of Japanese oil imports. He forbade Japan from using the Panama canal which totally cut off Japanese access to Venezuelan oil.

    The truth is Americans broke Japanese encryption codes months before the attacks. They knew what was going to happen, when and where. FDR did not dispatch this information to Pearl Harbor.

    And we wonder why the world hates America. You gladly accept your social conditioning. If only you realized the atrocities your country has committed against humanity. Ignorance truly is bliss.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.hawkins.906 Ben Hawkins

    You are assuming that war has reached its zenith, and is no longer going to escalate. Also, coal interestingly enough, releases far more radiation into the atmosphere per kwh then even a generation 1 nuclear plant.

  • HalfWhit

    My step dad was one of those men on that ship watching. Amazing that he is still alive and healthy.

  • Petzl

    Once you use the words “false flag operation” in relation to Pearl Harbor and/or once you use the word “sheeple”, you have to go to the corner, and sit, until you are smart enough to talk to other adults.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1308150112 Robert Bradford

    Petzi, when big boys have conversations, we use FACTS. If you’d like to provide a rebuttal, find a flaw in my statements and counter. Japan Imperialism, US “democracy”, Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany are no different from each other. Each has committed massive atrocities against humanity…. Minus the decision to end 200,000 civilian lives in a span of two minutes.

  • Borja Campillo

    Hi there!
    I am currently working in a Video project and we need some Nuclear disaster footage. I am wondering if you know where to find this footage. It is for a non profit organisation and the idea of the video is: remember and never forget to not to do it again.
    if you could help me please send me an email to: [email protected]
    thank you so much

  • FTW

    why didnt the force from the nuke create a title wave

  • arson

    I beat the photographer had to check his pants after that