This article was originally published for BogglingFacts. It has been cross-posted with the permission of author Reagan M.
On August 6, 1945, the world changed forever. After an American bomber unleashed the world’s first glimpse of an atomic bomb, countries scrambled to get their hands on the technology to ensure their safety. The power of nuclear weapons is almost unfathomable, and if nuclear war was to ever break out, it would likely spell the end of the world. Luckily, it’s this fact, among others, that has kept war from breaking out thus far. Read on for 10 more horrifying facts about nuclear weapons.
10. A large-scale nuclear war would put 150 million tons of smoke into Earth’s atmosphere, creating a nuclear winter chillier than the Ice Age.
9. On average, regular sized nuclear weapons that detonate over a city would burn away around 40 to 65 square miles in the blink of an eye.
8. The United States’ largest nuclear bomb has the combined detonation power of 200 million pounds of high explosives.
7. The most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated was the Tsar Bomba, a Russian bomb with a cumulative power of over 50 megatons of TNT.
6. The U.S. and Russia each have thousands of nuclear warheads on high alert, a term used to describe the readiness of said missiles for launching. In this case, it would be mere minutes.
5. Eight Countries, including the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea are declared nuclear states, with an additional three suspected countries that remain undeclared.
4. The United States conducted over a thousand nuclear tests between 1945 and 1992, with a primary health consequence of increased radiation exposure leading to cancer. It’s estimated some 6,000 people will die from thyroid cancer as a result.
3. The combined explosions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed an estimated 120,000 people, forcing the immediate surrender of Emperor Hirohito in World War 2.
2. Since 1951, the United States has gone on to produce 67,500 nuclear missiles.
1. The aftermath of nuclear explosions are just as deadly and far-reaching; radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear plant reached as far as Wales and Scotland.
+ Bonus Knowledge Nuggets
Perhaps the most sobering thought in regards to the effects of nuclear detonations is the consideration of what remained of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When the dust, fire, and smoke finally cleared, all that remained of the Japanese people were the shadows scorched into stone. Nuclear detonation is so extreme it instantly incinerates the human body.