There were 22 nuclear bombs exploded at Bikina Atoll with devastating effects.
Atoll is a word used to describe a ring shaped coral reef. The word itself, taken from what the Mayalalam peaople call the Maldive Islands, is “atolu.”
But a true atoll is not like the Maldives. An atoll is a circular coral reef system formed at the peak of an underwater extinct volcano.
At Bikini Atoll is a chain of coral islands. Situated in the central Pacific Ocean, nuclear bombs detonated there created massive craters. Destruction caused by detonation of the bombs has now been revealed by scientists.
The first nuclear bomb test, codenamed “Baker,” was detonated underwater in July 1946. In a milliesecond, a 274 metre wide column of sand, pulverised coral and water shot to 1.6 kilometres in the air. 22 of these bombs were detonated between 1946 and 1958.
What we do not know is what the long term effects of such actions will be. It is clear that the coral was destroyed alongside unknown amounts of sea life. Does exploding nuclear devices in this way contaminate the ocean?
I beleive it must. Does this mean then that we eat seafood? You tell me.
Back to the atoll. The US bombs have caused two enormous craters in the sea bed. These craters cover an area around 1.5 times the size of New Yorks Central Park. They have now been measured accurately to a depth of 56 metres.
Detonating a bomb that causes that much devastation must have ramifications.
We know that Earth has seven tectonic plates. We also know that these plates are always moving. So what other harm has the testing of nuclear bombs at sea done?
Has it caused the fault lines that existed to lengthen?
Has it altered the height or angle of the Pacific plate? Not having the technology in the 1940’s to measure as we do now, who can say?
So 70 years on and we are still testing nuclear weapons. North Korea, for example, does it.
France also used atolls in it’s atomic bomb tests.
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