Thousands of Nuclear Weapons Detonated Since 1945

Do you know which 7 countries have successfully tested nuclear weapons?
Do you know how many have been detonated?
Did you know there have been blasts in Africa and Australia?
Do you know the US tested nuclear weapons on our own soil well into the 1990s?

Most people are under the assumption that only a few dozen nuclear weapons have ever been detonated. The fact is that more than 1000 have been detonated just on US soil. Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto created a time-lapse video displaying all of the nuclear blasts occurring between 1945 and 1998. While the first two minutes are seemingly uneventful, unless you happen to live in Hiroshima or Nagasaki, the pace at which the blasts begin to occur becomes frightening. By the mid 1960s, it’s terrifying.

The video shows the month, year, location, and country of origin of every known blast. After the brief intro showcasing the first tests and the two well known blasts of World War II, the video begins counting down the month and year.

Many believed the end of the Cold War was the end of the threat of global nuclear war. It wasn’t. Thousands of warheads are still targeted at large metropolitan centers and an exchange still has the capacity to wipe out tens or hundreds of millions of lives in mere minutes.

Image Source: Isao Hashimoto
Image Source: Isao Hashimoto

The website states:

“Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea’s two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).

Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing”the fear and folly of nuclear weapons.” It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.”

From the artist:

“This piece of work is a bird’s eye view of the history by scaling down a month length of time into one second. No letter is used for equal messaging to all viewers without language barrier. The blinking light, sound and the numbers on the world map show when, where and how many experiments each country have conducted. I created this work for the means of an interface to the people who are yet to know of the extremely grave, but present problem of the world.”