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'Rule of thumb' will help you tell if you will be safe in the event of a nuclear bomb

Joe Harker

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'Rule of thumb' will help you tell if you will be safe in the event of a nuclear bomb

First things first; don't panic, we're not suggesting a nuclear war is in any way a likely possibility that would require you to swot up on survival techniques.

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However, we're going to act as if it is because talk of the possibility of nuclear weapons being used has come up more often recently, largely because Vladimir Putin keeps threatening it.

Then again, he said 'I'm not bluffing', which is exactly what someone who was bluffing would say.

Since it'd pretty much be the end of the world as we know it and there's enough nuclear weapons to wipe out all sides in a potential conflict, it'd be an absolutely terrible idea.

If you can't entirely cover the cloud with your thumb then you're too close, bad luck. Credit: SunFlowerStudio / Alamy Stock Photo
If you can't entirely cover the cloud with your thumb then you're too close, bad luck. Credit: SunFlowerStudio / Alamy Stock Photo

If you should ever find yourself in such a situation that the bombs are dropping then you have my sympathies, and gauging your chances of survival could all come down to something called the 'rule of thumb'.

Simply put, if the mushroom cloud from the nuclear bomb can be completely covered by holding out your thumb then you're probably safe.

While that might be the case, nobody would blame you if you thought it was still safer to turn and run in the other direction to look for somewhere you can find shelter.

If you can't cover the cloud by sticking out your thumb then it's time to point yourself in the opposite direction and go as fast as you can towards the most appropriate shelter.

If you hold out your thumb and it starts to melt off right before your eyes then it's probably time to scoff the contents of your biscuit tin and finally understand why certain bodies found in Pompeii were posed in a particular way.

Again, don't panic. We're not suggesting a nuclear war is close, we just like to keep our readers informed.

One group of people who are probably already familiar with this rule are fans of the Fallout video game series, which is set in a post-apocalypse United States that was destroyed by nuclear weapons. (Calm down, it's just a game, guys).

Franchise mascot Vault-Boy is usually depicted in a pose where he's winking and giving a thumbs up to the audience, but many fans have realised his pose is a pretty good demonstration of the 'rule of thumb'.

There are a few other things to consider here too, as sticking your thumb out to cover the mushroom cloud doesn't mean you're totally safe, especially as the winds sweeps radioactive fallout across the land.

If at first the blast doesn't get you, you can pick from a plethora of potential deaths including radiation and starvation, so definitely raid the biscuit tin before the Mad Max wannabes get you for your hobnobs.

Even if your thumb fits entirely over the cloud it's still a good idea to get away and seek shelter. Credit: American Photo Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Even if your thumb fits entirely over the cloud it's still a good idea to get away and seek shelter. Credit: American Photo Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

If you really want to survive a potential nuclear war then one of your best bets is to be in Australia when the bombs start dropping.

While you'd possibly want to stay out of the cities to avoid being one of the many millions who'd be incinerated by the bombs, you could avoid the post-apocalyptic starvation as Australia produces enough food to support their population.

Featured Image Credit: @feleciaforthewin / TikTok

Topics: Technology, News

Joe Harker
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