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September 19, 2012

53 years of nuclear testing in 14 minutes (video)

Wrote Kate Rixon on Open Culture:

The time lapse map created by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto... is beautiful in a simple way and eerie as it documents the 2,053 nuclear explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998.

It looks like a war room map of the world, black landmasses surrounded by deep blue ocean. It starts out slow, in July of 1945, with a blue blip and an explosion sound in the American southwest — the Manhattan Project's "Trinity" test near Los Alamos. Just one month later come the explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

From there the months click by — condensed down to seconds — on a digital clock. Each nation that has exploded a nuclear bomb gets a blip and a flashing dot when they detonate a weapon, with a running tally kept on the screen.

Eeriest of all is that each nation gets its own electronic sound pitch: low tones for the United States, higher for the Soviet Union — beeping to the metronome of the months ticking by.

If you're like me, you had no idea just how many detonations the United States is responsible for (1,032 — more than the rest of the countries put together). The sequence ends with the Pakistani nuclear tests of May 1998.

[via Mark Hall]

September 19, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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