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Footage Of The World's Largest Ever Nuclear Bomb Was Top Secret For Decades

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Footage Of The World's Largest Ever Nuclear Bomb Was Top Secret For Decades

Footage of the biggest nuclear explosion ever seen in the world was kept top secret for decades, until it was finally released by Russia last year. It's absolutely terrifying and it stands as something we should continue to remember.

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The full 40-minute video that was previously classified was released in August 2020 by the country's state-run nuclear division ROSATOM.

The huge device was detonated on 30 October 1961 off the coast of Severny Island near the Arctic Ocean and was called the Tsar Bomba, or Tsar Bomb.

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The name is likely a reference to the sheer size of it, which is the scariest thing about this whole story.

It's a hydrogen bomb with 50 megatons - or 50 million tons - of explosive.

To put that into context, it was 3,333 times more powerful than the bomb that killed 140,000 when it was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

It was also far more destructive than the largest hydrogen bomb the United States had ever set off back in 1954 when it it detonated a 15 megaton device.

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The shocking footage was released on 20 August to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Russia's nuclear industry, with a large portion of the video depicting the country's journey to the top of the nuclear tree.

The weapon itself was huge, weighing a massive 27 tonnes and about eight metres in length. In order for it to be dropped, some of the fuel tanks had to be removed from the Tu-95V Soviet bomber.

Credit: ROSATOM
Credit: ROSATOM

It was detonated at around 4,000 metres above ground.

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The explosion was so powerful the bomber was hit by the shockwave about 70 miles away, with the blast itself visible from an incredible 620 miles.

To put it into context, the mushroom cloud stretched 42 miles into the air, making it about seven times higher than Mount Everest, and reports claim it destroyed buildings within 55km (35 miles) of it.

It was also later found that the Tsar Bomb could, potentially, have been even more powerful than it was, as it was originally designed to deliver a colossal 100-megaton blast but was scaled down in order to protect the wider population from the explosion.

This also wasn't the only powerful detonation Russia carried out during this time. Throughout the early 1960s, the Soviet Union completed several other tests with forces ranging between 20 and 24 megatons.

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The Tsar Bomb, however, was one of the last above ground nuclear tests ever carried out as the US, UK, and the Soviet Union signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963, which stated that all future tests had to be carried out beneath ground.

Featured Image Credit: ROSATOM

Topics: World News, Russia

Tom Wood
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